LEOMINSTER library might have been thrown a lifeline as plans are afoot to move another vital service into the centre.
The info shop in the Corn Square is set to move into the library after Herefordshire Council received a grant from the regional improvement efficiency partnership (West Midlands) to fund the venture.
Work has already started on the move although no firm date has been set for when the info shop – which hosts a number of organisations including the citizens advice bureau and Herefordshire council services – will commence business in its new premises.
Kerry Thomson at Herefordshire Council said: “The rationale was to share skills across the service with library teams and the info shop, and to fall in line with the other Herefordshire Council sites which have combined services such as Ross, Kington and Bromyard.
“The decision to move the info office was made in January and the move will out of Corn Square will release the building for sale.”
Speaking at Leominster town’s annual meeting, town and county councillor Felicity Norman said the move may strengthen Leominster library’s case in the face of proposed cuts.
“None of us will allow it to dissapear. If the council does make cuts, we have to look for other ways. We are looking for partners to do that as a community initiative and we want to work out the key areas in terms of what we will be most able to support,” she said.
She added the range of services offered in the library when the info centre moves will make it “indispensible”.
Former Leominster librarian, Peter Holliday, said he was “appalled” by the proposals by the county council which could see library funding cut by 75 per cent.
He said the cuts would be likely to leave only Hereford library open which has a “considerable maintenance cost year on year and doesn’t provide an adequate service”.
“Everybody who uses the service knows it’s something that lifts the spirits. It’s open to everybody and it will be obviously a tremendous blow to lose that,” he said.
Mr Holliday said he has written to the communities minister about the issue which he feels is of such importance.
“We don’t have many cultural things in the county and those we do have are very important – we thrive on the arts. These things are most important and doubly so in a rural county.”