Community bid in pipeline to save ‘iconic’ central library building
PUBLISHED: 13:00 23 February 2018
A community bid to buy Clevedon’s ‘iconic’ library building could be launched if plans to relocate the service proceed.
Earlier this month North Somerset Council revealed proposals to save around £140,000 over two years by moving library services in Clevedon and Nailsea to smaller venues.
Long Ashton Library is also included in the plans with users facing the prospect of a mobile service in future as the authority looks to save around £10million in the next financial year.
MORE: Council reveals libraries could move
Clevedon Library is based at the old schoolrooms in Old Church Road, but is likely to move with North Somerset expected to ratify cost-saving plans last night (Tuesday).
Clevedon Town Council clerk Paula Heath is working on a community right to bid application for the building but admits even if it is successful the library service is likely to be moved elsewhere in the town.
She said: “At the moment I am putting together a case. We need to be able to show community want and that the community would fight to keep this.
“People need to realise that if we did buy the library it may not stay just as the library building.
“It may be we just keep that iconic building and the library moves elsewhere.
“Whatever happens, that building is going to have to adapt.
“The library service is going to be retained in Clevedon whether it is in that building or not.
“We don’t want to ship it off to Castlewood like North Somerset, we want it retained in the town centre.”
MORE: North Somerset Council insists Clevedon will keep library service
If the right to bid application is approved any potential sale of the building will be paused for six months to give the community a chance to raise funds to buy it.
The town council also recently submitted a right to bid application for NHS-owned land at Millcross. However, it was turned down by North Somerset Council which said there was not enough evidence to show the area had been used by the community over the past 12 months.
The council is keen for people to come forward in support of the library building and to show it is regularly used by the community.