Work to transform two libraries into new wellbeing hubs in the northern part of the city will start in the New Year.
Building on the success of the Council’s community hubs programme, the Council is committed to delivering wellbeing hubs in the northern part of the city, focusing on social wellbeing and active lifestyles, community engagement and independent living.
Rhydypennau Library and Whitchurch Library will close at 7pm on Tuesday, January 7 to enable the work to take place and will reopen as community hubs in Summer 2020.
Funding has been secured from the Welsh Government’s Museum, Archives and Libraries Division and the Integrated Care Fund to transform the buildings. Each building will benefit from small extensions and internal refurbishment to enable a wider range of activities and services to be delivered from them.
Community consultation in early 2019 helped to feed into the design of the buildings and the planned improvements for Whitchurch Library include an extension to accommodate a community room, reinstatement of the original entrance and internal refurbishment including accessible toilets.
In Rhydypennau, an extension will be built to create a community room while there will also be an improved entrance, refurbishment, accessible parking and landscaping.
With fully-trained staff on hand to help customers, the new hubs will offer a wide range of community and wellbeing services to complement the library service in the buildings. The Council will work with partner organisations, local groups and volunteers to deliver activities and events will be tailored to the needs of the community and enhance the range of services available.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “The focus of our wellbeing hubs will be to engage our increasing older population and help combat the impact of isolation on people’s wellbeing by providing a range of services, events and activities based on their needs. While there is a focus on older people, the hubs will serve the whole community.”
Plans are taking shape for alternative venues to provide a range of services during the closure period including the collection of waste bags, the mobile library service and continued community activities. Further information on this, including leaflets and posters for the community are currently being prepared and will be publicised shortly.