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Kidsgrove Library proposed changes - your questions answered

 Why is the county council proposing changes to the Kidsgrove library building? 

The county council has been asked by the Kidsgrove Town Deal Board if it could consider the possibility of joining its library with other services in a new shared services hub building. This would be located in the same area, and would also benefit from new public open space improvements. The proposed shared service hub is one of five projects which make up the Kidsgrove Town Deal. 

The Government has provisionally allocated £16.9million to all five projects, subject to the business cases being approved. The hub might include our library service as well as other community service organisations including health for example. Consultation is taking place, led by the Kidsgrove Town Deal Board in February to gather local views on this project to inform any business case. 

Is the library remaining in Kidsgrove?

Yes, the library service will be remaining in Kidsgrove and at its current location. There is a possibility that the library might be relocated into a shared hub as part of the Town Deal proposals, but this has not yet been agreed. To find out more, please attend the consultation event on Saturday 12 February or look at our web pages which will be kept updated.

If the shared service hub does go ahead, it would provide the opportunity to make sure the library is part of a wider health and community offer, and it would be located in a new purpose-built facility, that could accommodate other organisations. This subject to the business case, could be an exciting development for the town and the local library service.

Will the library service be reduced and will there be less employees?

No – this proposal is not about reducing the library service. Utilising the Town Deal funding, a range of community services, including the library, can be brought under one roof for the convenience of Kidsgrove residents. There are currently no proposed changes to library opening hours.

If the proposals go ahead for the new Shared Service Hub, what will happen to the library service while building work takes place, and how long will this take?

There would be phased development so that there would be minimal disruption to the library service, and only when the service would move from the old to the new building. 

Do we have any say on these proposals?

Yes – there is a public consultation event at Kidsgrove Town Hall on all the Town Deal projects: Saturday February 12, 11am-3pm. You can also contact Richard Corfe Town Deal Project Manager Richard.Corfe@newcastle-staffs.gov.uk at Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council or call 01782 742464. There is also an intention to create a Citizens Panel to advise on the Town Deal projects and again if you would like to be involved in that please contact Richard Corfe. 

For any enquiries about Kidsgrove Library Service contact: connectedlibraries@staffordshire.gov.uk  

What if the proposals for the Share Services hub do not go ahead?

The library service would remain in the current building, with the county council continuing to maintain and refurbish the building as required.

What is the Town Deal?

In September 2019, the Government announced that it was inviting 100 places across the UK to develop proposals for Town Deals. The objective of the Towns Fund is to drive the economic regeneration of towns to deliver long term economic and productivity growth through, skills and enterprise and connectivity. Town Deals are primarily focused on capital projects to build, improve, maintain, or develop assets.

Towns were selected based on seven criteria chosen to reflect local need and potential for economic growth: income deprivation, skills deprivation, productivity, EU Exit exposure, exposure to economic shocks, investment opportunity and alignment to wider government intervention. The selection process also included a regional element, with the aim of focusing funding on the regions with higher need.

There are five projects included in the Town Deal for Kidsgrove.

  • The Kidsgrove Sports Centre
  • Kidsgrove Station refurbishment
  • Canal enhancements
  • Chatterley Valley West
  • The Shared Services Hub and public realm improvements

The Town Deal projects will be paid for by a mixture of Town Deal money, plus public and private sector funding, depending on the projects.

Newcastle Borough Council is the ‘accountable body’, which means the money is paid to them to be spent on the projects. The Town Deal Board has responsibility for overseeing the process and monitoring that the projects are being delivered on time and on budget.

For more information visit: Kidsgrove Town Deal – Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council (newcastle-staffs.gov.uk)

What happens next?

The Town Deal Board and Newcastle Borough Council are working hard on the business cases for each project. These have to show that the projects are deliverable and that they offer great value for money. Once they are submitted and approved by central government, the Newcastle Borough Council will receive the funding so projects can begin. 

If Town Deal proposals are agreed by central government which includes relocating the library into a shared hub, a full public consultation in relation to Kidsgrove Library will be completed.

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