A PUBLIC consultation on the future of Redditch Library has been approved by Worcestershire County Council.

Residents will now get the chance to have their say on proposals to relocate the library from its current site into the Town Hall which will be transformed into a community hub.

The consultation will focus on the rationale for the relocation of the library, the impact on existing library services and customers as well as the proposed plans.

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for communities at Worcestershire County Council, said: “We know how popular Redditch Library is to its customers, how much it means to residents and what a large catchment area it serves.

“We are keen to ensure our service levels remain the same and accessible to all, whilst we look into the possible relocation of the library.

“We want to know what residents in Redditch think about their local library, so we can include their feedback in future plans for the project.

“I’d encourage as many local people as possible to take advantage of the opportunity and to have their say.”

The county council has emphasised there will not be a reduction in library services.

Cllr Hart added: “To ensure that Redditch Library continues to provide the same important service to residents and community groups within the town, we have specified that if the library is to be relocated; library floor space will remain equal to, or similar to, the current floorspace, and will be arranged in a prominent and visible location.

“There will be no reduction in library services and the library service will remain accessible to all.”

During the meeting Cllr Hart said the county council’s role is to ensure a ‘proper consultation process’ and they are in ‘listening mode’.

Cllr Andy Roberts who represents Warndon parish said Redditch is looking at what was innovative in 1977 and can now be improved on’.

“We see the library as essential to what Redditch borough has to offer,” added Cllr Roberts.

“Unless we change things, we don’t get change.

“It’s not for me to have an opinion but to second the proposal to give a voice to Redditch.”

Cllr Matt Dormer said the library relocation is an ‘integral part of the regeneration’ of Redditch.

He said: “I urge the residents of Redditch to fill the survey in, engage positively, and keep an open mind."

The consultation will start on Monday, November 7 and run for just over 90 days until Friday, February 24, 2023, to take account of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The methodology used will follow a mixture of online surveys and face-to-face sessions. 3- dimensional modelling and extensive design visuals will be available to support public consultation

Worcestershire County Council has operated from the current building for more than 50 years with the Jobcentre Plus moving there in April 2018. 

The county council say further information about how to access the consultation will be announced soon.

Redditch Library is one of 21 libraries in Worcestershire, serving the second largest catchment population behind The Hive and is the second busiest library in terms of customer activity.