Hillingdon Council has unveiled plans for the transformation and relocation of Uxbridge Library to Hillingdon’s Civic Centre in spring 2024.
Despite budget pressures faced by many local authorities leading to library closures, Hillingdon Council remains committed to maintaining its 16 libraries across the borough.
The council’s Library Strategy focuses on enhancing existing buildings and facilities to ensure they are efficient, high-quality, and cater to residents’ needs both now and in the future.
The proposed upgrades for the central library, set to be reviewed by the Cabinet in December, include new amenities such as study pods, hireable meeting spaces, and a dedicated area for the popular Tovertafel interactive tabletop projections. The plans also retain exhibition and event spaces, a learning center with public computers, laptop charging points, a dedicated children’s library, and an extensive book collection.
This move is part of the council’s efforts to bring services in-house, aiming to deliver outstanding services in a more efficient and innovative manner while addressing ongoing budget challenges faced by local authorities. Additionally, the decision aligns with the council’s commitment to sustainability, striving to achieve a net-zero carbon footprint by 2030.
The library’s current location on Uxbridge High Street, although popular, is housed in a building with one of the council’s highest carbon footprints and underutilized spaces. The relocation to the Civic Centre aligns with the Uxbridge Masterplan, focusing on revitalizing the town center and the southern end of the High Street.
The new facility will feature improved accessibility, including a nearby bus stop and disability access, addressing the challenges faced by disabled individuals, older adults, people with dementia, and those with special educational needs.
Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “Uxbridge Library would remain one of our flagship facilities and a genuine community hub. Its relocation would deliver a fantastic new amenity for residents and visitors.
“We’re committed to creating a green and sustainable borough and making sound decisions about using taxpayers’ money. So, it makes little sense to keep open a building which is energy inefficient and where the space is underutilised, when we can move the library just a very short walk away into a building which will be modernised to the highest standards while offering enhanced facilities.
“The move would also help centralise the facility alongside other services which have also recently been brought into the Civic Centre, including Uxbridge Family Hub and Learn Hillingdon, our adult education service.”
Plans for the new library are set to go on display for residents to view and find out more in the current library building on Friday 10 November.