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Library £1m makeover withdrawn

PUBLISHED: 15:55 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:52 03 July 2010

A £1m plus makeover for Great Yarmouth's Central Library has gone back to the drawing board amid concerns about how the design would affect Medieval Rows.

A £1m plus makeover for Great Yarmouth's Central Library has gone back to the drawing board amid concerns about how the design would affect Medieval Rows.

County council plans which included adding an extension and glass doorway have been withdrawn after Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it was unhappy with the scheme.

A county hall spokesman said: “Early indications were that they were happy, but now they are not. They had an issue with how it would affect the Rows and the Medieval street scene and they have told us now it would be contrary to their policy.

“We are looking at relocating the main entrance and giving more access from Middlegate Estate. In about a month's time we should have final approval from the Big Lottery Fund.

“Great Yarmouth's policy protects those Rows and thoroughfares and now that we are clear on that we are going to try and make improvements to engage more people with the library within its existing footprint.”

Great Yarmouth Library announced in October it was set for major improvement after a Norfolk County Council bid managed to secure over £1.3 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

The funds will enable the library to build on its role of supporting reading and learning for everyone with more community space for events and activities, with improved community learning and public IT facilities. A garden reading area is also being touted as a possibility.

Borough conservation officer Ian Hardy said the council was keen to protect the Rows from any new development and that it hoped to match its aspirations about linking sea and quay via a green parkway with what the county was doing at the library.

The county hall spokesman said the delay did not affect funding.

He added that an extensive amount of consultation was undertaken with local residents and community groups prior to the bid and would continue once the plans took shape. Toilets and baby change facilities, and somewhere to sit and relax with a hot drink while reading were also on the wish list for their library.

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