Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

We're consulting on plans for a bigger library in the Greenacre Centre, in Stotfold

Friday, 6 May 2022

We're proposing to move Stotfold Library from the Simpson Centre to the hall in the nearby Greenacre Centre.

The new location in the Greenacre Centre Hall would provide a much better library service for Stotfold residents. The plans would include significant improvements to the look and feel of the library, in a much larger space compared to the existing arrangements.

Find out more and have your say.

By working with Stotfold Town Council, we can expand the library to provide more books, giving users greater choice, include increased study space and provide a better IT zone with improved Wi-Fi coverage. This would support people without internet access at home or those wanting to use a PC or access high-speed internet. This super-fast internet would enable library users to quickly find information, services and educational and skills opportunities online.

The new venue could provide space for a bigger modern library in a community hub at the heart of the community. There would also be scope to hold a range of events given the additional space and available parking. The popular, privately run café (Box of Cakes), which operates next to the existing library building would also be re-located into the Greenacre Centre.

There would be new flooring, furniture, and shelving making it more appealing. There would also be more natural light and better ventilation, which would make it a better environment to read, relax and browse.

Plans include modern self-service machines which automatically identify and track books. A full-size self-service machine would be near the entrance with tablet sized self-service options in other areas. There would be increased security and safeguarding for customers and staff, as CCTV (4K Digital) and door access control would be installed as part of this project.

The new centre would also provide public and accessible toilets, which the current library does not have the space to provide.

We're working in partnership with Stotfold Town Council which owns both buildings. We currently lease the Simpson Centre for the library service and the proposal would see us lease the hall in the Greenacre Centre for the library service in the future.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, our Executive Member for Community Services, said:

Libraries play a key role in our communities, as they act as an important focal point, offering vital services for our residents. With the growth in the local area and new housing developments, the library has the potential to become a bigger part of the community.

This proposal to invest significantly in relocating and providing a modern, spacious library will provide a quality service for the benefit of our residents. With more study space, a larger book selection and enhanced IT provision, it will provide users with a greater choice and support those without internet access at home. The plans offer a vastly improved library service for residents.

Councillor Steve Hayes, Chairman of Stotfold Town Council’s Buildings Management Committee, said:

Having carried out a review of all our buildings we are pleased to put forward this proposal to offer Stotfold Library the opportunity to expand its operation with the improvements, for the benefit of all Stotfold residents.

The town council purchased the existing library building in 2001, when the doctors' surgery relocated, to allow the library to remain in Stotfold. Sadly, the old building is now in a poor state of repair and by relocating to the Greenacre Centre it will be able to offer a truly 21st century library experience to our residents and ensure its future going forward.