Work starts after library’s 13-year fight

Work has  started on the old library building for Castleford's new library and museum.'L to R) Cllr Tony Wallis, Cllr Mark Burns-Williamson, Alison Drake ( Chair of Castleford Heritage Trust) and Dave Wilders (Chair of Friends of Castleford Library.'p7876a209
Work has started on the old library building for Castleford's new library and museum.'L to R) Cllr Tony Wallis, Cllr Mark Burns-Williamson, Alison Drake ( Chair of Castleford Heritage Trust) and Dave Wilders (Chair of Friends of Castleford Library.'p7876a209
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CASTLEFORD Library is undergoing a £1m transformation as builders move in to turn it into a community hub.

Construction work at the Carlton Street building – to be known as Castleford Forum – has begun, including demolition of a current extension to make way for an expansion of the library costing £1.4m.

The building’s museum space will double to display more of the town’s heritage.

Coun David Dagger, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “This is the next stage in a new and improved library and museum for Castleford residents.

“The work is a key milestone in the renovation of the Forum and I am pleased we are on track to open the improved facility next spring.

“We have been working closely with community groups, local members and the town centre partnership as part of a steering group to make this refurbishment happen and it is great to see it moving forward.”

Development work marks the end of a 13-year campaign by members of Friends of Castleford Library (FOCAL) and the Castleford Heritage Trust for a combined library, museum and arts service in the town, which was blighted by funding problems including three failed National Lottery bids.

Dave Wilders, chairman of FOCAL, said: “One of our primary aims was to work for a new library and museum – it’s had its ups and downs to say the least, but it’s fantastic to know we have contributed to bringing new, modern facilities to Castleford.”

The library has been operating from a temporary location at Bridge Arts in Sagar Street since last month and users can continue to borrow books and use services there until the library reopens.