School seeks planning permission for new library

PUBLISHED: 17:57 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:58 08 October 2019

Project Xenia was launched by Clevedon School in 2018. Picture: Mike Thie

Project Xenia was launched by Clevedon School in 2018. Picture: Mike Thie

Mike Thie

Clevedon School has taken the next step towards opening a library.

The secondary school does not have one and for the past year has been raising funds to fix the anomaly.

Planning permission to replace its courtyard with a library is being sought from North Somerset Council.

The courtyard is adjacent to the school hall and cafeteria.

Pupils launched Xenia Project last summer in an effort to raise £12,000 towards the initiative.

Students said at the time with library services having faced funding cuts in recent years that they wanted better access to books at school.

Headteacher Jim Smith said the centre would be used by students for a range of educational activities.

He told the Times: "We are delighted to be at the stage of planning consent for our new community literacy space called Xenia.

"It will act as a resource to facilitate live performances, a hub for books to develop reading and a space to hold meetings and debate. All types of literacy will emanate from Xenia.

"There is a huge sense of anticipation that after two years of fundraising we will now hopefully create this space and develop further improved levels of literacy with our students."

The proposed library will be one-storey high and clad in timber.

The school's planning application to North Somerset says: "The money has been raised by students, staff, parents, as well as generous donations from local businesses.

"In addition to the library an extension is required to the canteen and kitchens to provide the catering hub."

Mr Smith hopes people's hard work in getting to this stage will prove fruitful.

He said: "I would like to thank all of our community partners in helping make this happen and look forward to a grand celebration when we open the doors."

Clevedon Town Council is due to discuss the application tomorrow evening (Wednesday), and members will make a recommendation to North Somerset as to whether permission should be granted.

The meeting will be held at the town council office, in Old Street, starting at 7.30pm.

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