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Library revamp

PUBLISHED: 16:43 23 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:45 03 July 2010

THE days when motorists could drive down Yarmouth Way without noticing the presence of Great Yarmouth's Central Library are set to become a thing of the past.

THE days when motorists could drive down Yarmouth Way without noticing the presence of Great Yarmouth's Central Library are set to become a thing of the past.

A new entrance further is planned as part of a £1.3m regeneration scheme to make the library more conspicuous to visitors and residents alike, who could be forgiven for wondering where the library is.

The current entrance is concealed beneath the top floor and the library's sign is only visible to people approaching from the Tolhouse Street side. A new upstairs window will also be added on the Yarmouth Way side to make the library's interior more transparent.

Once inside, visitors will find a whole host of new facilities to appeal to a broader range of users including a lecture theatre and a kitchen available for Jamie Oliver-style cookery classes.

Library manager Mary Kent said the refurbishment work was on course for completion in August and it would help to regenerate area along with the multi-million pound improvements to St George's Chapel and King Street.

She said: “I think everyone can say it is going to make a real difference because it will help to regenerate the area from St George's Park right down to South Quay. It will encourage people to come to this end of the town.

“We aim to make it more of a community library. At the moment this is a library used mainly for books and reading, but we plan to offer it in different ways and make it more relevant to people.”

She said one of the main target audiences would be deprived youngsters growing up on the nearby Middlegate estate who would be encouraged to take part in activities on their doorstep including drama groups and a new upstairs gallery for exhibitions.

Extensive consultations were carried out with local residents before the start of the project to discover what they would like to see at the library.

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