New chapter for Tynemouth Library

Major plans have been drawn up to transform a library into a modern community hub.

Thursday, 13th February 2020, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 13th February 2020, 9:00 am
Tynemouth Library, in Front Street.

Tynemouth Library, in Front Street, has served the community for nearly 70 years.

Exciting plans have been drawn up to completely rebuild the building as a modern hub for the library with Newcastle Building Society partnering to create a community branch inside.

High-quality private apartments could also be created above.

The plans are set to be considered by North Tyneside Council’s Cabinet at its meeting in May 2020 as part of the Ambition for North Tyneside programme, which sets out how the council will regenerate all parts of the borough and make it fit for the future.

Coun Bruce Pickard, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We are committed to investing in the borough to keep it a great place to live, work and visit.

“The library would share the space with a community building society, to improve local people’s access to both library and community facilities.

“The new building would be brighter and more accessible, more modern and appealing, and sensitive to the historic conversation area in which it sits.

“The co-location of libraries and building societies has proven successful elsewhere in the North East and we are very excited about the prospect of working with Newcastle Building Society on this project.

“We know how much our residents value Tynemouth Library for its convenience and accessibility, so even though the libraries at North Shields and Cullercoats are within a couple of miles, we will be operating our mobile library nearby while the work is carried out.”

Coun Sarah Day, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, added: “I’m really excited about the planned redevelopment and the opportunity to improve our facilities, which would give our residents a bigger and better Tynemouth Library that’s fit for the future.”

The new library would also have a Changing Places toilet.

The move is also part of a wider strategy by Newcastle Building Society to deliver services differently in towns and communities across the North East.

Andrew Haigh, Newcastle Building Society’s chief executive, said: “We believe that our high streets play a vital role at the heart of our communities.

“We are therefore committed to maintaining a strong network of branches to support towns and cities across the North East.

“In addition to our ongoing programme of investment in our branches, we are also keen to work with like-minded organisations to find new and creative ways in which we can add value to our communities.

“Our co-located, community branches ensure that local people can continue to benefit from the convenience of financial services on their high street.

“We’re looking forward to working with North Tyneside Council and the Tynemouth library to create another successful community hub within our region.”

The library will close its doors on February 29 so that exploratory works can be carried out.