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£100k redevelopment for Pyle Library

Almost £100,000 will be invested into Pyle Library later this autumn, thanks to a Transformation Capital Grant from the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division of Welsh Government and match-funding from Awen Cultural Trust.

The funding will be used to redevelop and refurbish the much-loved library into a large, lighter and brighter, accessible open space, so that it can be used as a more flexible and functional area by the whole community.

The existing large and imposing reception desk and four air-conditioning columns will be removed to open up the space. The walls will be redecorated, the flooring replaced, and new shelving and furniture installed.

There will also be quiet ‘nooks’ and work stations with additional power points, improved WIFI and charging facilities to support students, small businesses and home-workers with places to meet and work.

Richard Hughes, Chief Executive of Awen Cultural Trust, which runs the library services on behalf of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “Pyle Library, and the Life Centre where it is co-located, are the mainstay of the local community; a safe and welcoming space where people and groups can meet up, take part in a huge array of activities or simply enjoy the relaxed surroundings. Pyle Library is often the ‘go to’ place in the area for helpful advice and support with literacy, digital skills, employment resources, and is a key partner in a number of successful health and wellbeing initiatives including the dementia-friendly Memory Lane Café.

“It has been 18 years since the library was last renovated, and individual and community needs have certainly changed over that time. By removing some of the now-dated physical barriers into the library, including the large front desk, and using furniture and storage which can be easily moved around to create multi-functional, dynamic spaces to suit different purposes and events, we hope to encourage even more people into the library, more often.”

Councillor Richard Young, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Major investments such as this are precisely why we chose the innovative approach of establishing a cultural trust in 2015 to run many local facilities including libraries.

“At a time when other local authorities have had to cut library services due to reduced funding from central government, our bold approach has offered a different but bright future for cultural services.

“Working in partnership with the Awen Cultural Trust helps us to achieve our ambitions of encouraging a passion for reading and knowledge, particularly among the younger generation, and putting culture and learning at the heart of our communities.”

The Transformation Capital Grant Programme supports museums, archives and libraries to transform services and ensure their future sustainability with over £1.35 million of capital funding to develop and enhance their facilities and services.

Announcing the funding, the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Lord Elis-Thomas, said:

“The Welsh Government remains committed to supporting these important services. This fund will widen access for our communities, promoting cultural engagement, providing learning opportunities and supporting community cohesion and prosperity.  I look forward to visiting the new facilities in due course, and encourage everyone to see what their local museum, archive or library has to offer. ”