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Plans To Move The Library To Maylord Orchards Ditched In Favour Of The Shire Hall

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New Hereford library and learning centre one step closer according to Herefordshire Council.


The development of a new library and learning centre for Hereford has taken a step further forward following a Cabinet decision to locate it at Shirehall.

Hereford library is currently in a temporary location at Friar St, after moving out of the Broad St building to make way for the £18m redevelopment of Hereford museum.

While a previous decision had been for the new library and learning centre to be sited at the Maylord Orchards Centre, Herefordshire Council’s Cabinet requested that the Shirehall also be explored as an option.

The business case for Shirehall considered by Cabinet (Thursday 26 October) set out how the building would be capable of providing a significantly larger footprint and an increase in shared workspaces than Maylord Orchards, while bringing a hugely valuable heritage asset back into community use.

The proposals outline how a modern library would provide space for people of all ages while being flexible enough to also hold events and community space. The lower area would accommodate a digital skills lounge with dedicated PCs for public use/digital workshops, a fully equipped sensory room and a ‘maker-space’ for members of the public to use equipment that may not be available to them at home.

As a result of the decision today, a request will now be made to the Stronger Towns Board for the funding previously allocated, by the Government as part of the Stronger Towns Fund, to the Maylord Orchards library project to be reassigned to the Shirehall project. Following this a proposal will be put to Full Council for additional funding to be added to the capital programme for essential building works.

Councillor Harry Bramer, cabinet member for community services and assets, said:

“Hereford’s Shirehall is a landmark building that’s at the heart of the City’s heritage. Siting the new library and learning centre in this prominent venue will bring it back into use for the whole community. It offers many options and opportunities for how we could use the space to benefit people of all ages.”

“While we recognise the proposals are still subject to funding agreements, we’re excited that this decision is taking another step towards the creation of a modern, inspiring library and learning space for Hereford – to provide a first-class library and learning centre to match the quality of the City’s new museum that’s currently in development.”

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