The newest library to open its doors in Staffordshire will be inspired by the success of a similar project.
Newcastle’s new library will based in the £15.4m Castle House in the centre of town and the design, content and layout will be inspired by Stafford library, which has seen a surge in membership and use since it opened two years ago.
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities, said:
Moving from an old building, which was never designed to be used as a library, to a bright, open building with a range of modern facilities to complement the books was a great success in Stafford and it will be in Newcastle.
The current Newcastle building is a former 1970s department store, it’s expensive to heat and light and it’s spread over three floors.
The new library will be more accessible, with a flexible space and offer access to more than one million books and more than 3,000 ebooks, as well as offering computers, free wifi and digital touch tables.
There will be 3D printers and Raspberry Pi computers will be available to help children and young people learning coding and other IT skills.”
The new library will be on the ground and first floors of Castle House, with a lift between the two floors.
The current building on Ironmarket will close at 5pm on October 6 to allow time for stock to be transferred in time for the reopening on October 23.
Gill Heath added:
The Stafford move saw membership increase by more than 3,000 in a year and we know from there that one of the most popular parts is the themed children’s area, so in Newcastle the children’s area will have a circus theme in recognition of Philip Astley, the Newcastle-born father of the modern circus.
It will be great and I hope it inspires a new generation of readers.”
Castle House, between Queens Gardens and the bus station, is opening in the autumn and will be the base for Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council, Staffordshire Police and Aspire Housing’s customer services team.
The Borough Council’s move from its current Merrial Street base will allow the offices there to be demolished and the land added to the site of the former Sainsbury’s supermarket at Ryecroft, where developers are planning a £27.1 million development with retail units and student accommodation.