Tonbridge Library upgrade continues with adult education boost

Tonbridge Library upgrade continues with adult education boost
COVER STORY: Tonbridge Library's historic facade was cleaned in a major overhaul last year

There will be extra space for Adult Education classes, the reference library will be relocated to the ground floor in a renovated space that was previously not open to the public, and there will be improvements to the Avebury Avenue façade.

The library was closed for three months at the start of 2018 while Kent County Council [KCC] carried out a range of refurbishments.

The High Street entrance was re-opened and the fascia of the historic building was cleaned.

The ground floor was fully refitted with new carpets and blinds, and windows were replaced.

The latest improvements will mean that only the reference library will be closed, for a short period, to move stock and equipment around. The library on the ground floor will remain open.

KCC’s Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services, Mike Hill, said: “These improvements will greatly enhance the experience for the people of Tonbridge who visit the main town library.

“They show KCC’s continuing commitment to the county’s library service.

“We thank our customers for their understanding during the work and hope that they continue to make good use of the improved facilities.”

Richard Long, KCC member for Tonbridge, was instrumental in driving through the improvements.

He said: “This is good news and demonstrates the county council’s commitments to all its libraries – and especially Tonbridge.

“It is notable that Kent has kept every single one of its 99 libraries open.”

The facility had faced a cut of 18 hours to its opening times, from 55 hours to 37 – a reduction of one third – under proposals to save money.

But following a public consultation, it has been designated as a ‘large town’ library and will now see a reduction of 13 hours, to 42 hours a week.

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