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Environmental work approved for local library

By Connor Steel

HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have announced they have been given permission to begin work on an exciting new project focusing on environmental impacts of Bridgemary Library; this facility on Brewers Lane being selected to be the authority’s first ever “green library” with a wide range of developments being planned to the building over this next year.

It is believed that a transformation will take place across the building starting with many rooftop solar panels and an air source heat pump system, which should enable renewable energy sources for the site. Charging points are further due to be created in the library’s car park to support the ongoing adoption of electric vehicles; joining other sites in Gosport.

The new initiative is being funded by a £150,000 capital grant from Arts Council England (ACE) as part of their “Library Improvement Fund”, which has the purpose of enabling library services to invest in buildings and technology upgrades. It is hoped that this would allow sites to remain updated and able to respond to the ever “changing needs” for all users.

The County Council have contributed another £35,000 towards these building works, alongside a further £25,000 fund being made available to benefit the wider local community. This will help fund a variety of eco-themed books to feature in the library, who hope to host events and activities based around the environment impacts of ongoing climate change.

Staff from Bridgemary Library will be given special training to upskill on knowledge and expertise about climate change over time, which should be used to support / educate library customers and the other users. There are further set to be improvements to the “child” areas and accessible garden; which will feature spaces for outdoor activities and reflection.

The project will build on the local authority’s fresh commitments to be part of the national “Green Libraries Partnership“, which is looking to encourage relations with all library and information professionals to further champion environmental sustainability across sites. Hampshire County Council are hoping all developments are completed by March 2024, with multiple quotes from officials and further information on this project available to explore via this accessible website link.

PICTURED BY HAMPSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL: Bridgemary Library exterior following developments in recent years.