Pictured above are: Aneurin Leisure Managing Director Anthony Hughes, Vice Chair of Aneurin Leisure Board of Trustees Sian Hughes, AM Alun Davies, BGCBC Councillor Keren Bender and author Dan Anthony with pupils from Willowtown Primary School.
On Friday 23rd September Alun Davies AM for Blaenau Gwent officially opened Ebbw Vale Library following an extensive refurbishment project which was made possible by funding from Welsh Government.
The newly renovated and modernised building has transformed service delivery at Ebbw Vale, enabling greater community involvement, improved IT facilities including free Wi-Fi and providing opportunities to increase partnership work with a wide range of organisations.
In its first month after re-opening to the public, Ebbw Vale Library has received just over 10,000 visitors of all ages who have accessed a number of services, from book loans to computer and internet access. In this time 4,635 books have been borrowed and 275 new members have joined the library.
It was pleasing to see so many people from across the area attending the official opening and sharing wonderful feedback on the newly renovated and modernised building, which has become a focal point at the heart of the local community.
Children from Willowtown Primary School visited during the day and enjoyed hearing stories and joining in with the activities offered by children’s author Dan Anthony. The sessions formed part of the Welsh Government funded scheme ‘Every Child a Member’, which engages with children to promote the world of possibilities offered by libraries and encourages them to become regular library users.
Alun Davies, AM for Blaenau Gwent said; “The library is at the heart of the community and is a very important and positive development for local public services in Ebbw Vale, in which the whole community will benefit greatly. This new, modern environment has the unique appeal of attracting all ages and all sections of the community, making a huge difference to people. The great thing about this project is the opportunities it will bring – from help for jobseekers, digital inclusion services, Macmillan support, free children’s activities, reading groups, Knit and Natter, family history support and a whole range of community support initiatives. It’s a place for inspiration, research, creativity, education, economic prosperity and enjoyment. The new facilities will help people take pride in their community, providing a safe, welcoming space where people can meet, think, learn, create, take part and give back.”
Anthony Hughes, Managing Director of Aneurin Leisure added; “It is a proud day for the Trust and the local authority to see the end result of this very successful refurbishment programme. On behalf of Aneurin Leisure and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council I would like to thank everyone who made the transformation possible. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank our customers for the continued support and patience they showed during the refurbishment process. The library will play a vital role in supporting the community and we welcome everyone to explore this exciting new facility.”
Daniel Heginbotham, National Sales Manager at Innova Design Solutions which designed, manufactured and installed the new library said: “The role of a library is no longer just to house books and provide an environment for readers. To truly serve now and into the future, libraries need to build on their literary foundations by offering digital technology and acting as multi-functional, community hubs that host activities such as mum and toddler groups, art classes and events for children.
“When planning the refurbishment of Ebbw Vale Library, bringing these various considerations together and adding a modern interior into the unique traditional building meant we had the opportunity to deliver something fantastic for the community. The finished facility provides ample space and gives readers a relaxed, uncluttered, high tech environment where they can move effortlessly from one area to the next according to their needs.”
Staff at the library have been overwhelmed by the positive reactions and feedback from visitors so far, here’s some of their feedback: -
“Cool and stylish! Everything a modern library should be, well done to everyone involved, a proud day for Ebbw Vale.”
“Awesome looking building, unrecognisable from before – great design!”
“I've just visited the newly opened, refurbished library in Ebbw Vale. The ‘wow’ factor is often mentioned and this refurbishment has it in spades. The building is now a modern, funky light filled space which is perfect for a contemporary library, whilst still retaining the architectural features that make this building such a feature in the town. For anyone who has not visited a library for any length of time, a visit to this one is an absolute must!”
Ebbw Vale Library opening times: -
Monday: 9am – 5.30pm
Tuesday: 9am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 9am – 5.30pm
Friday: 9am – 5.30pm
Saturday: 9am – 1pm
For more information call 01495 355055 or if you would like more information on our library service please visit http://aneurinleisure.org.uk/heritage/libraries