The future of Newquay’s much-loved library has been secured thanks to an agreement between Newquay Town Council and Cornwall Council.
On Tuesday 4 September, the town’s Library and Information Service (formerly known as One Stop Shop) will transfer to the Town Council’s management, meaning residents will still be able to access all the key services essential to a modern library. The transfer includes the freehold of the Council Offices and Library building on Marcus Hill.
Under the new arrangement, which is part of Cornwall Council’s devolution programme, Newquay Library will also remain part of the countywide library service, so customers will keep their existing library cards and will still be able to visit, borrow and order books online from other libraries in Cornwall.
Since making the decision earlier this year to take over the management of the library, Newquay Town Council has also completed refurbishment of the interior of the building, giving it a vibrant and fresher look and improving the seating and meeting room areas.
The Town Clerk, Andy Curtis, stated: “The transfer of these locally important services to the Town Council represents over five years of negotiation. The Town Council has now achieved a long-held ambition to regain ownership of the Town’s Municipal Offices and continue its efforts to safeguard, improve and enhance the services delivered at a local level. This project forms part of the Town Council’s five year Strategic Business Plan and so we will now work hard to ensure the services remain effective and of value to the people of Newquay.”
Mayor Cllr Andy Hannan added: “Thanks to the Town Council taking over the provision of this vital service, our residents will see a newly refurbished, family friendly library with extended opening times and more facilities for the visitors. I’d like to thank the library’s hardworking staff who continue to strive to provide the service the town needs and deserves.
“Once again we have shown that local services can be better managed at a local level by people passionate about the town they live in. I hope our residents enjoy the new look Library and encourage them to use and support it as often as possible.”
As part of the arrangement, Cornwall Council will continue to provide and maintain the library’s public computers and resources, including replenishing books, explained Councillor Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods.
“We know how important libraries are to our residents, which is why we have been working closely with town and parish councils and community groups across Cornwall to find the best partners to take over the running of their local library. Our aim has always been to work with partners and communities to create sustainable services aligned to local needs and the agreement with Newquay Town Council is an excellent example of devolution in action.
“From the beginning, the Town Council has taken a proactive approach to secure the future for the library and by moving the Information Service into the same building, are creating a community hub where residents can access to a range of information about services in their area.”
Cllr Rachel Craze who led the project as the former Chair of the Tourism and Leisure Committee added: “I am delighted that following many months of working with Cornwall Council, the town’s library and the council offices have finally transferred to Newquay Town Council. The Library and Information Service staff are key to the success of both services and safeguarding their futures has been key throughout the negotiations. With the transfer now complete we will be looking at ways to offer an enhanced and efficient service as well as a town centre community event venue.“
Newquay Library and Information Service is open between 9.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday and the Library is also open Saturdays between 10am and 1pm - with plans to expand this further in the very near future.