Library set to move in £57m scheme

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CONTROVERSIAL plans to temporarily close and relocate a town’s central library are being recommended to councillors.

Under the changes, Barnsley’s main library on Shambles Street will be closed on March 21 and moved to a temporary location on Wellington Street to open again on May 15.

The switch is being undertaken with a view to developing a new purpose-built library as part of a £57m town centre investment scheme.

If approved by councillors at a full meeting on Thursday, February 6, it will pave the way for a new sixth form college in the town. It will also allow the regeneration of Shambles Street which is a major gateway to the town centre.

The move faces strong opposition from a group of campaigners who want the library, which has 7,400 users, to stay where it is. The council has received three petitions over the issue.

Letters of support for the temporary move, and the longer term vision of a new sixth form college, have also been received from groups including Barnsley Economic Partnership, four MPs, the Civic Trust, town centre businesses, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau, and the Chamber of Commerce.