Saturday 20 July 2024
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Nottingham

Council to invest in facilities at a Nottingham library

Residents in Hyson Green will see a major revamp of their library services including better-selected books, a renovated garden and facilities for adults with dementia.

Nottingham City Council has been awarded £164,946 by Arts Council England and other match funding to improve the facilities at the Mary Potter Centre, which is home to Hyson Green Library.

The council has accepted the funding to deliver what has been called the ‘One Hyson Project’.

The proposals and cash-spend were made under a delegated decision on April 20 – which means it took place outside of a council meeting.

The council said: “Hyson Green is a culturally rich area with a large black and minority ethnic community (55.7 per cent of local population) and high numbers of newly-arrived citizens.

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“It is an area of high unemployment, higher than average numbers of people seeking benefits, a large number of houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) dwellings and high crime rates.

“The area has higher than average levels of factors increasing the risk of mental health problems, where people report they feel lonely often and where levels of social integration are lower than average.”

The proposed improvements are designed to help Hyson Green Library address these issues such as “helping citizens to feel better connected and supported through an open and welcoming environment”.

This includes renovating the garden at the centre to provide an outdoor green space for year-round use that library users, Acorn Day Centre clients, Mary Potter Centre staff, visitors, and the wider community can enjoy.

The council also plans to relocate the world language stock to an area where many languages are spoken and where the collection will be more heavily used.

The centre will also purchase an interactive sensory activity table to benefit adults with dementia, adults and children with disabilities or sensory and physical impairment as well as  families with young children.

It also wants to provide better support for adults with sensory and physical impairment, families with young children, vulnerable citizens, non-white communities and newly arrived residents who do not have English as a first language, as well as offer increased volunteer opportunities.

The council said: “(It will) make our library more visible as it is currently difficult to identify where the library is located due to lack of signage.

“The proposed project aligns with our current service developments at Hyson Green Library and our already-established local partnership collaborations including social prescribers, the Acorn Day Centre, Hyson Green Children’s Centre and Small Steps Big Changes.”

It comes at a time when the Labour-run authority is proposing to close three of its libraries in Radford/Lenton, Basford and Aspley to save money.

A public consultation is currently under way, with nearly 2,000 people signing a petition calling for the plans to be ditched.

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