Plans to develop one of Salford’s most popular libraries have been announced.
Height Library, in King Street, Irlams o’ th’ Height will see new flexible meeting, events and exhibition areas created, along with a fully accessible toilet. Improvements will be made to the exterior of the library and the entrance will be adapted to make it suitable for independent use by community groups and partners. Timescales for the building work are now being drawn up.
Councillor David Lancaster, lead member for environment and community safety, said: “Salford opened England’s first, unconditionally free public library in 1850 so we have a long and very proud tradition of supporting libraries.
“I’m delighted that we can invest in Height library which has played such a key role in the community for over 100 years. This funding underlines the importance of libraries as places where all residents can come together to enjoy all kinds of activities which is more important than ever after the disruption of the pandemic.”
Height library opened in 1901 with a collection of 3,000 books at a cost of £6,000. It now opens five days a week offering books, free WIFI, internet access and printing, children’s story sessions, healthy exercise, reading groups and a place to relax, gather or meet friends.
Salford City Council won £85,200 for the work from the government’s cultural investment fund, delivered by the Arts Council England. The cultural investment fund will see £5 million invested through the Libraries Improvement Fund, which is helping transform library services in England to respond to the changing ways people use them.
Darren Henley, Chief Executive Officer, Arts Council England, said: “Our artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries are experts in making villages, towns and cities better places to live, work, visit or play. This investment means they’ll be able to help more people across England to lead happier, more creative lives.”
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson said: “Culture is the bedrock of society. It brings people together, entertains and informs us and helps us to understand our common past and shared future. We are announcing a raft of new funding for treasured cultural institutions up and down the country. This will help them to continue their great work, advance our work to level up access to arts and culture so they can be enjoyed by people no matter where they live, and protect these cherished institutions for future generations to enjoy.”
- Date published
- Monday 21 March 2022