Northumberland County Council has invested £500,000 in the scheme to create a hub of council and cultural services for the local community by refurbishing the old library and transferring other council services into the venue to make them more accessible to the public.
Now residents can borrow books, use computers, pay council bills, enquire about any council services, find out about local events and attractions and get information about health all from this one stop shop location.
Queen’s Hall Arts Centre which is also housed within the building boasts a 350-seat theatre and two galleries attracting the best international and national artists from music, drama, comedy and dance and non-professional shows put on by local community groups.
Councillor Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council said: “ The scheme has involved a number of partners working together, taking customer needs into account, to strengthen community services and get the best for the town. It is great that part of this wonderful Victorian building has been given a new lease of life and the town now has a fantastic, modern and accessible service area for residents and visitors."
Recent work to the building has taken into account its historic features, and heritage colour schemes have been used to complement these. Key original features have been retained and sensitively complemented by new features such as architecturally designed staircases and glass partitions which separate some of the private and public spaces on the first floor.
Take a video tour of the new library and service hub via the news link on the right >