Construction to commence at Pollards Hill Library

Work to upgrade and expand Pollards Hill Library is due to start in early November with the library officially closing its doors for construction at 5pm on Saturday 25 October.

The renovations will see Pollards Hill Library reopen its doors in Summer 2009 with a brand new entrance, all new fixtures and fittings and a more environmentally efficient heating and energy system. Three dedicated learning rooms will also be designed in the new building and will form an integral part of how the library will deliver services in the future.

The refurbishment works were made possible thanks to the council’s success in securing a grant of nearly £1 million from the Big Lottery Fund, the largest single funding bid that has been successful in the library service’s history.

While construction is taking place a temporary basic book borrowing service offering approximately 2000 stock items will operate from the New Horizons Day Centre, next to the existing library. The library homework club will also run from this location.

The Open Learning Centre will operate from the nearby Ivy Gardens Children’s Centre and will continue to provide a drop in service for computer users along with European Computer Driving License (ECDL) classes, IT training sessions and providing IT learning support for Children’s Centre staff.

With the library at the hub of Pollards Hill, the lottery funding is expected to lead to improved educational attainment, resulting in better employment prospects and a healthier community

Councillor Maurice Groves, cabinet member for community services says: “This funding is providing some valuable opportunities for the borough especially in Pollards Hill. An extended library with a greater spread of services will help bring people of all ages together and provide them with valuable learning resources and space for community activities that are relevant to all local residents.

“We’re excited that construction is now about to begin and looking forward to the opportunities that will spill out into the community when the doors are opened again in summer 2009.”

Notes:

· The New Horizons Day Centre will be open to the public at the following times:
Monday: 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm
Wednesday: 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm
Thursday: 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm
Friday: 9am-12pm and 3pm-6pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

· The library homework club will run from the New Horizons Day Centre from 4pm-6pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays

· Open learning centre services will be available to the public at Ivy Gardens Children’s Centre between 9am and5pm Mondays to Fridays (closing each lunchtime 12noon-1pm).

· Merton Council secured the £1million grant from the Big Lottery Fund in November last year. The grant is part of the England-wide Big Lottery Fund £80 million investment in widening community learning opportunities through libraries.

· The Big Lottery Fund distributes half of all National Lottery good cause funding across the UK. The Fund aims to enable others to make real improvements to the lives of disadvantaged people and the wellbeing of communities, through fair and open funding of people, projects and programmes.