New li­brary bid for 2022

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

SLIGO could have a new state of the art Cen­tral Li­brary by April 2022.

The Coun­cil and IT Sligo are hop­ing the Ur­ban Re­gen­er­a­tion De­vel­op­ment Fund will ap­prove their ap­pli­ca­tion in the New Year to al­low for the de­vel­op­ment of a Sligo Learn­ing and Ideas Gen­er­a­tion Cen­tre (SLIGC).

The cen­tre would be a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the Coun­cil and the IT, in­cor­po­rat­ing a new Cen­tral Pub­lic Li­brary, as well as re­search and in­no­va­tion cen­tres for the IT and lo­cal en­trepreneurs.

It would be si­t­u­ated on Coun­cil prop­erty on the Mall.

If the Ur­ban Re­gen­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment Fund (URDF) (which was launched in July this year as part of Project Ire­land 2040) ap­proves the joint ap­pli­ca­tion, Phase 1 will take place next year.

It will in­volve a com­plete Master Plan, fea­si­bil­ity study and busi­ness plan in 2019.

Phase 2 in 2020-2022 will see the fi­nal de­sign, plan, ten­der­ing and con­struc­tion of the new Cen­tre. Both the Coun­cil and the IT in­tend to open the li­brary to the pub­lic in April 2022.

A de­ci­sion on the ap­pli­ca­tion is due to be made in the New Year.

Coun­cil­lor Chris MacManus, who had sought the up­date as a self-pro­fessed “bib­lio­phile”, said li­braries make towns “bet­ter places” and wel­comed the up­date.

“The num­ber of events held in Sligo li­brary shows the po­ten­tial if we were to have mod­ern fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

He said the cur­rent li­brary was only 250 sqm while the rec­om­mended size for a mod­ern li­brary is 2,500sqm, “ten times the size of Sligo li­brary.”

Di­rec­tor of Ser­vices Dorothy Clarke said the new Sligo Learn­ing and Ideas Gen­er­a­tion Cen­tre “should meet the grow­ing needs of the Sligo pop­u­la­tion.”

“Let’s hope this initiative be­tween Sligo County Coun­cil and IT Sligo will work,” said Cllr Sea­mus Kil­gan­non.

“It’s needed to­day. It would be won­der­ful to pro­vide a new li­brary ser­vice for the pub­lic and study area for Sligo IT,” he said.

Cllr MacManus wel­comed the up­date from the Di­rec­tor of Ser­vices.

“I’m glad to hear we have a struc­tured time­line. It to­tally de­pends on the ap­pli­ca­tion...we might get an an­nounce­ment in Fe­bru­ary, that’s three months be­fore the lo­cal elec­tions,” he said.

“I know that Gov­ern­ment De­part­ments like to see things in­te­grated and syn­er­gies. That’s a wel­come in­no­va­tion,” he told the meet­ing.

Car­ney river­bank which is to be shored up. Pic: Carl Bren­nan

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