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Further funding for Library and Children's Centre project

Date Published: 18 April 2017
Oakham Library

Rutland County Council has allocated £309k additional funding for the refurbishment of Oakham Library and integration of local children’s services at the site.

Cabinet met on Tuesday 18th April to receive an update about the joint project, which involves essential works to the library building and construction of a new purpose-built extension to re-home Visions Children’s Centre.

Since Planning Consent for the project was granted in November, the library building has undergone extensive enabling works to prepare the site. This has included:

  • Demolition of internal walls
  • Removal of ceiling panels flooring and fixed furniture
  • ‘Stripping-out’ of all electrical services
  • Some external works, including tree works

As these enabling works have progressed, additional requirements have been identified which cannot be met through the existing budget. These additional works include:

  • Further work to complete the replacement of the flat roof covering the Library
  • Removal of the Water Tank in the roof void of the Library
  • Additional foundation and drainage works associated with the Children’s Centre

Removal of internal walls, shelving and enquiry desks has also increased the amount of usable space in the library by around 20%, providing opportunities to further develop the site into a more accessible and versatile community space.

“Oakham Library is one of our most popular and well-used services but no significant improvements have been made to the building since it was first opened in 1972, almost 50 years ago. This is despite the library attracting around 90,000 visits every year. As the first phase of the project has progressed we’ve identified additional work that needs to be carried out to preserve the building for the next 50 years but this can’t be done within the existing budget. There are also opportunities to further enhance the services at Oakham Library by using extra space to make the building more accessible to visitors and local groups. Both the additional works and extra service mean additional funding is needed.”
Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Portfolio Holder for Growth

Plans to carry out essential works on Oakham Library were first approved in June 2016 with a budget of £220k (Report No.122/216). This was followed on the 20th September 2016 by a second report that released £400k for the Relocation of Visions Children’s Centre, plus and additional £60k to support the refurbishment of the Library (Report No. 181/2016). 

A further £309k funding has now been approved, taking the total project cost to a maximum of £989k.

Work on both the library and Children’s Centre extension are due to be completed in summer 2017, after which the temporary library service at Rutland County Museum will move back to the main library building.

The full report presented to Cabinet on Tuesday 18th April (Ref: 72/2017) can be read on our Decision making and council meetings page.

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