Daventry loses £240,000 of library cash

An artist's impression of the new library planned for Daventry
An artist's impression of the new library planned for Daventry

Daventry looks set to miss out on £238,725 of funding for a new library in the town centre.

Northamptonshire County Council had agreed to fund a replacement library for Daventry to the tune of £238,725.

The new library would be required if the Mulberry Place shopping development was built to the north of High Street on land including where the existing library stands.

The replacement is earmarked for the Chapel Lane car park and the extra money was intended to make the new library a ‘state of the art’ facility, rather than a simple replacement.

But at the end of 2015 Daventry District Council put the Mulberry Place plans on hold, because they were not ‘economically viable’. It is currently revising the overall Mulberry Place scheme.

As a result, on Tuesday the county council’s cabinet agreed to hand the £238,725 over to Moulton Parish Council, which is currently planning to build a new community centre,including a new library, by March 2017.

Cllr Adam Collyer (UKIP, Daventry West) said he had concerns about ‘re-purposing’ the money.

He said: “I’m aware the Daventry town centre development has been delayed, indeed it appears to be in disarray. But we will need a new library once it is finished as that scheme involves demolishing the old one.

“Surely if we re-purpose this money there is a risk the town centre redevelopment will go ahead and we won’t have a library at all in Daventry. I can assure you local people in Daventry will blame this council for that.”

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing Cllr Robin Brown said the Daventry scheme will be paid for at a later date using contributions from developer section 106 agreements.

He added: “I would also be extremely concerned if there was a likelihood there would not be a library in Daventry. Rest assured there will be a library in Daventry. The officers have quite rightly identified a better use for the money in the short term.”

The new Moulton library will form part of a community complex, which will include a doctors surgery, to serve the ‘expanding population’ of the village.

The county council says the existing library at Moulton is not fit for purpose and the current lease is due to expire in June.