New chapter for Donald Hope Library

Merton Council’s cabinet formally agreed the redevelopment of Donald Hope Library this week.

Indicative view of Donald Hope Library

Indicative view of Donald Hope Library

In a new chapter for the much-loved library, the current 1970s building on High Street, Colliers Wood, will be replaced with a high quality building constructed from Portland stone, reflecting the stone used for the historically significant Charles Holden Colliers Wood tube station. The new library will open in two years’ time and will be spread over three floors. Visitors are set to benefit from more space given over to books, DVDs and e-books, a coffee shop, community meeting rooms, special activity zones and a larger children’s area.

The current building will close for the redevelopment from 28 July 2015. A temporary library will be available at the Guardian Centre for the Blind, Clarendon Road from 30 July 2015. Opening times will remain the same. Library users will still be able to enjoy all the facilities currently provided in Donald Hope Library but in a slightly reduced format. A special open day on Saturday 1 August 2015 from 9.30am until 5.00pm is being organised so that residents can see the temporary facilities in action.

The council’s negotiations with a local developer has secured the new and improved library for Colliers Wood which will be enjoyed by future generations at a cost that is good value to the borough’s council tax payers and provides a sustainable library for the future.

The council will be involving residents in how the library looks and is laid out to ensure that it caters for their needs.

Updates on the development process and community engagement will be available on the Donald Hope Library web page.

Merton Council cabinet member for community and culture Councillor Nick Draper said: “The new library for Colliers Wood is excellent news for our residents. While so many councils are closing their libraries, ours are going from strength to strength and we are finding ways of providing new facilities that will be there for a long time to come. We have an award-winning library service which Merton should be proud of and I look forward to seeing this great new library being built over the next couple of years.”