New library and community hub launches in Bedlington
27 Jun 2022
An exciting new community hub has launched in Bedlington.
A joint venture between Northumberland Libraries and Northumberland Communities Together, the new Bedlington Library and Community Hub will complement existing community projects to combine traditional library services - enhancing the existing activity programme, with signposting to resources to support residents in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
The five-month-long project, which was originally proposed by Northumberland County Council’s team of apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week, has seen a complete interior refurbishment of the library space on Glebe Road, which has been serving the community in Bedlington since the 1970s.
Much of the work to prepare the space, including painting the library’s interior, was completed by the apprentices themselves with support from the Housing and Local Services team, as well as volunteers from across the library service, Northumberland Communities Together and local youth charity, Leading Link.
The finished Library and Community Hub features all the same great library amenities as before with the addition of more communal seating areas, craft and activity tables and a new, custom-built children’s library area to help make the space somewhere that members of the community of all ages can enjoy.
To celebrate the culmination of the work, staff hosted a special event where school children from four local primary schools were invited to take part in a book signing with celebrated children’s book illustrator, Liz Million.
Over 100 pupils from St Bede’s, Stead Lane, Whitley Memorial and Bedlington West End Primary Schools came along to the event where they each received a free signed book, a goody bag and learned more about the new and improved service and the upcoming Summer Reading Challenge.
Councillor Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member for Healthy Lives at Northumberland County Council, commented: “We’re absolutely delighted with the transformation of Bedlington Library into the new collaborative Library and Community Hub.
“The coronavirus pandemic has impacted on everyone’s lives in different ways. People have lost their jobs, lost their confidence and in some areas, lost their sense of community through months of having to stay apart.
“The launch of a new community hub like this, which brings together the magic of the library with a comprehensive support service has the potential to help thousands of residents of all ages to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the past two years and we’re really excited for the public to see it.”
Councillor Wendy Pattison, Cabinet Member for Adult Wellbeing at Northumberland County Council, added: “The services provided by Northumberland Communities Together during the height of the pandemic were a lifeline to many individuals living in our communities and although we are now more than two years on, coronavirus is still impacting on many people’s day-to-day lives.
“Through the creation of safe spaces like the new Library and Community Hub at Bedlington, we hope to continue offering these services in a sustainable way and make them more widely accessible to all residents across Northumberland to help people to get back on their feet at their own pace.”
The Bedlington Library and Community Hub is open daily to all members of the public. For full opening hours and contact information, please visit https://northumberland.spydus.co.uk