Welsh Government invests £14m modernising over 100 libraries
The Welsh Government has invested over £14million in updating and modernising
over 100 public libraries across Wales in the past nine years, the Deputy
Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, has announced.
The funding has been used to improve facilities for the public, from updated
ICT facilities to better community spaces and more flexible library areas, and
has led to an increase in usage and membership.
Some of the projects have also involved aspects at co-location, transforming
libraries into community hubs by combining with other council services, such as
leisure facilities and housing advice.
The Welsh Government’s support is helping to contribute to the success of
Wales’ libraries: there were over 13.6million visits made to public libraries
in Wales in 2014-15 and over 11.1million books borrowed.
The Deputy Minister is celebrating the announcement at the official opening of
Flintshire County Council received £92,000 from the Welsh Government’s
Community Learning and Libraries Programme to create a new co-located space in
Deeside Leisure Centre.
The new library has self-service technology, allowing it to remain open all the
hours the leisure centre opens. Library users also have the advantage of using
the café and foyer space for reading, refreshments and access to Wi-Fi.
Speaking ahead of the official opening, the Deputy Minister said:
“Our commitment and investment in libraries is helping them to stay relevant
for people’s lives today. Deeside is an excellent example of how co-locating
can appeal to new audiences and benefit current users through new facilities
and longer opening hours.
“Libraries are important community assets. They are open to everyone and offer
a range of social and learning opportunities. Libraries are a different place
to what they were some years ago, and users new and old would be surprised at
the modern services they now provide. I am pleased our support is allowing this
transformation to continue, so they remain a valued part of our community.”
The new Deeside library has a brand new stock of 5000 books and 4 public use
computers and 20 tablets for use in the library.
Cllr Aaron Shotton, Leader of Flintshire Council, said:
The new hub is part of a £250,000 investment in Deeside Leisure Centre, with
major funding contributions coming from Welsh Government.
“Deeside Leisure Centre is a major attraction in Flintshire and the new library
along with the major improvements to the entrance and reception area will
ensure it is an attractive place to visit and remains a local landmark.