Multi-million pound expansion plan for Hastings Library

Hastings Library, Claremont
Hastings Library, Claremont

THE library service in Hastings is set to be expanded under a multi-million pound plan which could include a new archive and register office.

East Sussex County Council has reached a deal to buy number 12 Claremont, the building next door to the current library.

It will allow the Library and Information Service to refurbish the existing library and bring together the adult and children’s library on one expanded site.

The register office and archive service could also be relocated to the new building.

It is hoped the range of services to the community will be improved including offering more people the opportunity to develop skills and literacy through the library based Learn Direct initiative.

Cllr Tony Freebody, lead member for community services at the county council, said: “Getting agreement on this purchase is another big step towards our goal of better library services for people in Hastings.

“These are really exciting plans for the community. We want to improve our library services, offer more learning opportunities and on top of this hopefully provide registration and local history services in the heart of the town.

“Subject to planning, we will have a modern library service and more - all on one site - that we can all be proud of and will serve the people of Hastings for many years to come.”

County councillor for Castle ward, Godfrey Daniel, also welcomed the move.

He said: “This wouldn’t be happening were it not for the support from so many people who signed the petition that was so ably presented to the county council by Erica Smith, the then chairman of Castle Ward Forum.

“For many years now, I have relentlessly pursued the aim of improving our library service in Hastings and it is great to see the county council taking this huge step forward in the heart of our town.

“We live in times when library services in some other parts of the country are being cut back. It is very encouraging that we will be getting an enhanced library facility.”