News Wednesday, December 23rd

Hereford Library open again - only so staff can get books out

HEREFORD Library was open again for the first time in weeks – just for staff to get books and resources out.

But only those books and resources accessible with the Broad Street site still shut down to the public over an asbestos scare.

Herefordshire Council is hopeful of asbestos removal starting later next month – with the work expected to take 5-6 weeks.

Earlier this month, the council’s cabinet approved the spending of £86,000 on the asbestos removal and committed to further funding of £900,000 on the library itself.

But in the background the council is involved in talks with various parties - including Hereford Library Users Group - as to what a future central library for the county could be.

A response to these talks is expected to be with the council by the end of February.

For some years, the Broad Street site has been seen as inappropriate to host a central library, museum and art gallery.

As reported by Herefordshire Live, a major community fundraising campaign has been proposed to get Hereford the new library many believe is long overdue.

A return to Broad Street, however, is by no means definite given the site’s long-term maintenance needs.

The council says it has been looking at alternative sites but acknowledges that it does not have sufficient funds of its own to enable such a move.

Regardless of the site's future use, work is still required to remove the asbestos.

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