Shepton Library relaunch
With lots of gloom in the news, this week we have a little ray of sunshine to report. When Somerset county Council announced plans to move or close their library, Shepton residents objected. A vocal and ultimately successful public campaign demanded the library be kept in its current location. SCC’s Libraries Service team has been in discussions with Shepton Mallet Town Council and 7 Starlings CIC. They have now come up with an agreed a new model for the library.
It is to reopen as both library and community hub but with major investment coming too. Shepton Mallet Town Council have agreed to invest £75,000 in the library over five years. Glastonbury Festival co-creator, Michael Eavis has offered a contribution of £8,000 per year for five years.
Somerset County Council have not committed to a sum of money. However they have said they will be investing in the library’s refurbishment. That will include new furniture, improved areas for children and young people. The plan is to include versatile shelving which will allow the rooms to be reconfigured for events.
The injection of funding will enable increased opening hours, and an increased level of staffing. The team will have more capacity to develop new activities and schemes, including outreach activities around the town.
COVID 19 means nothing can open for the foreseeable future. However the refurbishment works are expected to begin this Spring and take approximately 8-12 weeks. Meanwhile information on the planned closure can be found on the library pages of the SCC website www.somerset.gov.uk/libraries