Libraries, museums and archives in Wales will benefit from over £2.3million of funding from the Welsh Labour Government to develop and enhance their services.
The funding includes £1million to modernise the following libraries, enabling them to act as new community hubs, where customers can access a range of other services such as housing or leisure facilities, as well as an extensive range of library amenities. It will help them to improve their services and attract new users.
STAR Centre Library Hub, Splott, Cardiff
The Welsh Government is providing £120,000 towards a new library as part of the community hub to be built on the site of the former Splott pool. The library will be part of a number of other co-located services, including housing advice, training facilities, leisure facilities and advice services from partner agencies such as CAB and a credit union. The library will also have ICT facilities, including free Wi-Fi and an onsite café.
Holywell Library, Flintshire
£120,000 is being provided to relocate Holywell Library into the Leisure Centre to create a co-located hub offering a range of services. Co-location will provide a modern library space, longer opening hours, activity spaces, improved ICT, including free Wi-Fi and learning spaces. The co-location facility will make the library more convenient to busy people and attract new users such as parents taking children to use the leisure activities.
Bala Library, Gwynedd
£120,000 is being provided to modernise Bala Library. The library will be co-located in the new 3-19 Learning Campus, which is a 21st Century Schools project, alongside other community facilities, including a digital cinema. This will increase the library space and opening hours, and will also provide flexible learning and cultural opportunities.
Rhydycar Library, Merthyr Tydfil
£100,000 is being provided to significantly enhance the library provision at Rhydycar and move within a co-located facility. The refurbishment will dramatically extend the library’s footprint within the leisure hub and extend its opening hours. It is expected to attract new audiences as a result, particularly young people and families. The modernised space within the leisure centre will allow it to hold more cultural and learning activities for the community.
Haverfordwest County Library, Pembrokeshire
£285,000 will be provided to re-locate and modernise the Haverfordwest County Library. This cultural and heritage centre will have a new exhibition gallery created in partnership with the National Library of Wales, integrated partnership tourist information provision and a Life Hub zone with access to financial, digital, health and wellbeing information. Improved children’s spaces, ICT facilities and a café will also be available to attract the local community and visitors.
Brecon Area Library Cultural Hub, Powys
£250,000 will be provided to relocate Brecon library to a new cultural hub alongside museum, gallery, tourist information and community facilities. The new library will provide improved facilities particularly for the elderly, disabled and families, and will increase library space by 40%.
The remaining funding will go towards broadening the digital offer of museums, archives and libraries – including expanding the National Digital Library Service, which allows customers to access a free e-books and e-zines service, as well as free audio books and free reference sources, wherever and whenever they want. It will also support archive services across Wales to address the challenges of preserving our digital heritage.
The money will also go towards events and activities at museums, archives and libraries across Wales to attract new users, targeted at Communities First areas, as well as support for initiatives such as Kids in Museums and Every Child a Library Member, to encourage young people to engage with and develop a love of culture. The funding will ensure that Welsh museums, archives and libraries deliver quality services, through accreditation and standards schemes.