A MILLION pound revamp of Castleford Library has been given the green light by Wakefield Council chiefs.
Planning permission for The Forum – a newly-expanded museum and library space at the Carlton Street site costing £1.4m – has been given the go-ahead by planning officers.
The existing library will close at the end of December and be temporarily moved to Bridge Arts on Sagar Street for the start of the new year.
Coun David Dagger, cabinet member for culture and libraries, said: “It is great news that planning permission has been granted for The Forum as we can now start to look at moving forward.
“The improved library and museum space will be a big asset to the community and due to the provisions we have put in place, we are confident that there will be minimal disruption to library users during these improvements.”
The temporary library will provide books, access to PCs and audio visual material. It will also have extended opening hours, including opening on Wednesdays for a trial period.
Construction work will see the existing library partly rebuilt and museum space will double. A ramp will also be built to improve access.
Coun Tony Wallis, treasurer of Friends of Castleford Library (FOCAL) and vice-chairman for Castleford Heritage Trust, said: “It’s great news. It’s good for the town centre because it shows that even in these times, things are getting done.
“It’s something FOCAL and the Trust have been campaigning for years and it has been much needed for a long time.”
Development work marks the end of a 12-year campaign by members of FOCAL and the Trust for a combined library, museum and arts venue in the town, which has been blighted by funding problems including three failed National Lottery bids.
The council has been working in partnership with both community groups and the Castleford Town Centre Partnership to move forward with plans.
Visit www.wakefield.gov.uk/libraries for information.