Former library to be auctioned

PUBLISHED: 15:00 27 May 2011

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PORTISHEAD'S former library building is to be sold off at auction and residents fear there is not enough time to save it for the community.

The old limestone building in the town’s High Street closed its doors for the last time on March 26, with the transfer of the facility to a new unit in Horatio House, Harbour Road.

North Somerset Council has now confirmed the old library is surplus to its requirements and that it will be instructing auctioneers Maggs and Allen to dispose of the building.

At their March meeting, members of Portishead Town Council dismissed the idea of acquiring the site for residents’ use, but reported the council may support alternative community uses.

At the time, Chris Worthington, a director of Redcliffe Film Productions in Bristol, called for community groups to help him turn the premises into a media hub for the town. Mr Worthington’s plans however, fell by the wayside when a commercially viable way forward could not be found.

Residents now fear the worse and are calling for the council to save it from demolition.

Portishead historian Sandy Tebbutt says it will be devastating if the building is pulled down.

She said: “The old library building, built in the 1800s was the old Portishead Assembly Rooms and as such, is significant to the history of Portishead, it would be awful if it was removed.”

The site is expected to be autioned off this summer.

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