Launceston’s town library will soon have a new home after the town council announced the purchase of the former Barclays Bank building.
The town council, in partnership with Cornwall Council who are funding both the purchase and complete refurbishment of the building, have purchased the former Barclays Bank building on Broad Street for use as the town’s library.
The building will be used to accommodate the town library, the registration service and an information centre, as well as having the potential to offer short term office space and room hire, and providing a community hub for the town.
The central location in the heart of the town centre, hopes to ensure accessibility for all.
This new location means a more central premises for library facilities.
Currently, Launceston Library is based on Bounsall’s Lane, not far from the town’s castle.
Commenting on the purchase, Mayor of Launceston, Cllr Helen Bailey said: “So much work has been involved over many years to ensure we have a town library, to have our fantastic facility in the heart of our town open six days a week ensures we can build on the service offered to our residents and the wider community.”
The council has explained that while this will not only centralise some of the town’s facilities, it also means that a large central town building is not left standing unused, but will instead be preserved and maintained to provide a multi-use facility for Launceston.
Despite hopes to create a more accessible location, responses to the news haven’t been entirely positive, with many questioning how disabled-friendly the new building is, and access to parking.
One resident said: “Not a particularly accessible building for buggys or wheelchairs.”
While another commented: “Where will there be parking? It is already so limited in town. Perhaps set aside existing library site parking for the new library? Better than nothing at all.”
Cornwall councillor for Launceston John Conway added: “I am delighted that this prominent town centre site has been purchased for use as a library. It has taken a long time and I am sure the wait will prove worthwhile.”
The town council will now undertake a tender process for a construction provider to fulfil the necessary works to the site.