Relocation plan marks a new chapter for Daventry library

The indicative design of the new library
The indicative design of the new library

Daventry library is set to move to a modern new home next spring as part of wider plans to transform the centre of Daventry.

The LibraryPlus service would relocate a short distance from its current base in North Street to the ground floor of the Abbey Centre in nearby St John’s Square.

Residents will get the chance to view the proposals and give their feedback on them at an open day at the current library on Saturday, October 20 from 10am to 5pm.

Deputy leader of Northamptonshire County Council Cllr Cecile Irving-Swift said: “This is a great proposal for Daventry’s library and indeed for the town as a whole.

"The proposed location would enhance the experience libraries visitors of all ages.

"This is a perfect example of what can happen when the county and district council work alongside each other for the good of the communities they serve."

DDC is working together with Northamptonshire Libraries Service on moving the library to The Abbey by April 2019.

The relocation will pave the way for the construction of a new multi-screen cinema and restaurants by Daventry District Council (DDC) on the existing library site north of High Street.

Councillor David James, Daventry District Council’s economic, regeneration and employment portfolio holder, said: "It’s great news that our plans to build a new cinema and enhance the leisure experience in Daventry will also improve the town’s library at the same time.

"There is a lot of fondness for the current library building, however, it is no longer fit for purpose nor the needs of local people.

"We’re keen to help LibraryPlus turn the page on these outdated facilities and help the service flourish in modern new premises that can adapt to the changing needs of our community."

The current library building in North Street, which dates back to the 1920s, is a large, underused space with an "impractical layout that is costly to run", said a council spokesperson.

Although slightly smaller, The Abbey will provide room for LibraryPlus services with a more flexible layout that can change with the future needs of users.

Other features from the relocation include:

- All-new fittings, furnishings and technology, with accessibility at the heart of its design.

- A new, secure outside play area for young library visitors – families will be encouraged to give their views on how best to utilise this new space as the project progresses.

- A modern base for Daventry Registration Office.

- Housing the library alongside organisations including Citizen’s Advice Bureau, Olympus Care Services, Daventry Area Community Transport and Time2Talk.

Work on converting the ground floor of the Abbey is expected to be completed in March 2019, with the new library due to open in April 2019.

It is anticipated that Daventry Library will be closed for approximately one week in spring to enable it to move into the new facilities – further timings and details will be confirmed as the project progresses next year.

The proposals will be on display in the library for people to view and make comments on throughout the autumn, and a series of information sessions for groups are being arranged alongside the public open day.

Feedback from these sessions will be used to help design the new layout to make it as accessible as possible to all Daventry residents.