26/01/2024 - Permalink

Update for service users of Whitchurch Library

Related topics: Assets and estates / Leisure, culture and heritage

Library users in Whitchurch are being assured Shropshire Council is doing everything possible to find alternative and appropriate accommodation for the service following the emergency closure of Whitchurch Civic Centre.

Teams are working to identify and inspect possible locations for the service for both the short term and medium term.

Robert Macey, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said:-

“We understand the frustration people feel at the loss of the permanent base for our library service following the closure of Whitchurch Civic Centre, and we are actively seeking alternative venues.

“It is a very difficult situation we find ourselves in to find suitable properties, and landlords, who are able to accommodate our requirements to deliver the service.

“I know that we have considered more than 20 different options around the town, and are currently liaising with agents and owners on others, as we are keen to be able to offer the library service as soon as possible.”

In 2023 specialist engineers found that RAAC (reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete) exists across the majority of the Whitchurch Civic Centre complex, and that it has major structural issues. They recommended that it is not safe to reopen the building and – as a result – six future options for the site have been drawn up.

Shropshire Council is setting up a working group – including Shropshire Council officers, local Shropshire Councillors and Whitchurch Town Council – to consider options for the future of the Whitchurch Civic Centre site.

Peggy Mullock, a local Shropshire Councillor for Whitchurch North, added:-

“I’d like to thank our library users for their patience and understanding, and would say if anyone in the community knows of a site that they think may be suitable, or if they know of properties that may be becoming vacant, to get in touch. It may be that we have already considered the site, but local people will have the best knowledge.”