£7.6m re­vamp of town li­brary a step closer

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Sam Len­non slen­non@thek­m­group.co.uk

THE re­de­vel­op­ment of Ash­ford li­brary has been ap­proved by coun­cil­lors.

The news fol­lows a de­ci­sion by bor­ough plan­ning coun­cil­lors to ac­cept the Kent County Coun­cil plans for the re­vamp.

The £7.6 mil­lion project will ul­ti­mately be de­cided by the Sec­re­tary of State, but Ash­ford’s plan­ning com­mit­tee for­mally voted to raise no ob­jec­tion to it on Wed­nes­day last week.

The KCC scheme is to de­mol­ish the old build­ing at Church Road and Queen Street and re­place it with a larger one to pro­vide a range of ser­vices.

Cllr John Kemp, port­fo­lio holder for plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment, said: “As the town grows it is im­por­tant that pub­lic ser­vices keep pace.

“The new build­ing will of­fer a mul­ti­tude of ser­vices con­ve­niently sit­u­ated un­der one roof at the heart of the town.”

The new cen­tre, called Ash­ford Gate­way Plus, will pro­vide an im­proved li­brary, host Ash­ford’s reg­is­ter of­fice and be used for civil cer­e­monies.

There will also be rooms for so­cial care for adults, adult ed­u­ca­tion classes, space for art ex­hi­bi­tions and a cafe.

Kent County Coun­cil is be­hind the new cen­tre, which is ex­pected to open in May 2011. It will be con­sid­ered by the county plan­ning com­mit­tee in Jan­uary.

The new-look Ash­ford li­brary

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