A major project to revamp Hastings Library is nearing completion.
The multi-million pound East Sussex County Council scheme will reopen to the public on Friday, March 2.
The interior of the library, in the Brassey Institute, in Claremont, has been completely refurbished with new furniture, more computers, free Wi-Fi and improved toilet facilities.
Cllr Bill Bentley, the county council’s lead member for community services, said: “The newly refurbished and extended library is a fantastic asset to Hastings, and demonstrates our commitment to continuing to invest in a library service that is fit for the future.
“The project has not only created a modern library which will serve generations to come, but has protected and enhanced the history and heritage of the town by renovating this Grade II-listed building.
“This has at times been a challenging project, carrying out major repairs on significant parts of the library, often where there has been no maintenance in the 140-year history of the building. The project has enabled us to create a modern and vibrant library in a historic and architecturally beautiful building. I would like to thank the people of Hastings for their patience during this major project and I hope they enjoy their new library.”
County councillor Godfrey Daniel welcomed the news of the impending reopening.
He said: “This wouldn’t be happening were it not for the support from so many people who signed our petition that was presented to the county council in 2006. I do so hope, at these difficult times for public services, that people will appreciate this enhanced provision in the heart of our town.”
The county council said the improvements have enabled the authority to bring the Children’s Library, formerly based in nearby Robertson Passage, into the Brassey Institute.
The library will host a range of children’s activities including Code Clubs, Rhyme time and Story time while adults can join IT For You to develop computer skills or ask for help in a Computer Buddy session. In addition to offering books, the library will hold a range of reference information for study of the area, as well as DVDs, health and wellbeing resources and reminiscence resources.
The public computers provide free access to the internet, training courses, online reference materials, research programs for family history.
The temporary library in Robertson’s Passage will close on Saturday, February 24 to enable staff to move stock to the new library. During the move, from Monday, February 26 to Thursday, March 1, library services will be available at Hollington or Ore libraries.