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Wolverhampton libraries: Bilston could move from 145-year-old home in major shake-up

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

A major shake-up of libraries in Wolverhampton has been unveiled with one facing a move from its 145-year-old home and businesses being invited in to four others.

The city council has launched a review over its 16 libraries. Bilston library could be relocated from its Grade II listed home in Mount Pleasant to Bilston Town Hall under one proposal put forward.

Central library in Wolverhampton will remain with improvements planned inside the building.

Other ideas include relocating Low Hill library to Low Hill Community Hub and East Park to an unknown location.

The council also wants to invite businesses to set up bases in some of the libraries, including Finchfield, Whitmore Reans, Spring Vale and Penn.

The council is also exploring the possibility of the public supporting the running of libraries. These include Finchfield, Pendeford, Penn, Spring Vale, East Park, Tettenhall, Wednesfield, Whitmore Reans.

At Warstones, the council is considering building a new library at the same location which would form part of a new Community Health Hub.

Self-service facilities are also being considered at some of the libraries in order to extend the opening hours when no staff are available.

The council is not proposing to reduce the number of libraries in the borough, currently 16.

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The 10-year strategy on the service, which currently costs £1.3m a year to run, will go out for consultation on February 27, and will finish on May 21.

Proposals to save £500,000 from the libraries service in the current financial year were scrapped in October ahead of the review.

Public feedback will be reviewed as part of the decision making process.

Councillor John Reynolds, cabinet member for city economy, said: "The purpose of the strategy is to improve library services for people who live, work, study and visit Wolverhampton and set out how we will deliver local and national priorities, in the context of changing demands and customer needs.

"Against the backdrop of a wider public sector financial challenge, we also need to ensure that our libraries provide a network of support that is sustainable and provides value for money to taxpayers."

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