Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

A new bigger and better library booked in for Stotfold

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Plans to move Stotfold Library from the Simpson Centre to the hall in the nearby Greenacre Centre have been backed by Central Bedfordshire Council’s Executive.

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

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

The new venue will provide space for a bigger modern library in a community hub at the heart of the community. There will 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, will also be re-locating into the Greenacre Centre.

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

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

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

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said:

I am delighted that we’re investing in a modern, spacious library, which will provide a quality service for the benefit of our residents. With more study space, a larger book selection and enhanced IT provision, the new Stotfold library will provide users with a greater choice and support those without internet access at home. Our plans offer a vastly improved library service for residents. Our 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, this new library has the potential to become a bigger and more important part of the local community.

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

International award-winning author, Neil Gaiman, has said “Libraries really are the gates to the future." I am therefore very pleased Stotfold Town Council has been able to offer the Library Service a modern new home that will allow them to provide a true 21st century library for the benefit of all Stotfold residents.

Stotfold Town Council will submit a planning application for a change of use for the Oak Hall to accommodate the library services. Subject to planning approval, a new lease will be agreed with Stotfold Town Council for the Oak Hall, and this will enable the library to move to the new location.