A LIBRARY is set for a multi-million pound revamp after initial plans for a new building were scrapped.
The county council this week gave the go-ahead for a complete renovation of Hastings Library and its Brassey Institute base in Claremont.
The authority had planned a new state-of-the-art facility at the rear of Lacuna Place - estimated to cost upwards of £6million when plans were first mooted in 2008.
However, the current economic climate has forced a rethink, with the county council deciding to follow the cheaper option of improving the current building.
Councillor Bob Tidy announced the change in direction during a meeting in Lewes this week and said he hoped the updated library would become an asset to the people of Hastings.
He said: “We’ve been looking for some time to improve library services for people in the Hastings area and I am delighted that we now have a solid plan on which to move forward.
“Our aim is to deliver a wonderful new library development for Hastings.
“Councils up and down the country have had to look at their budgets and only put forward those schemes they believe are high priority and these Hastings Library plans fit that category.”
The council hopes to relocate the current children’s library in Robertson Passage onto the same site and modernise the library - which will involve setting up a temporary venue elsewhere while work is carried out.
Cllr Godfrey Daniel, who has campaigned for an improvement in the library facilities locally since 2006, said: “I am a bit disappointed we are not getting a new purpose built library and slightly concerned there may be problems with the fact the building is listed which could make large changes difficult.
“But all in all this is great news for the town and makes all the fighting worthwhile.”
The county council will now draw up detailed plans which will then be considered for planning permission by Hastings Borough Council.