Last year design proposals for a new look library were displayed as part of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s programme to update and refurbish its town centre branches.
Since then the plans have been further developed and as well as a significant refurbishment now also include a new partner providing additional services.
If granted planning permission, the entrance will be remodelled to improve disabled access and a new disabled toilet will be incorporated in the revamped library.
The make-over would also introduce the type of stylish furniture and moveable shelving that are already enhancing Stockton, Thornaby and Billingham town centre libraries.
Self-service borrowing and renewal facilities would give staff more time to help customers with their enquiries and improvements to the children’s section and garden area are also planned.
Additionally, residents will be able to use a special self-service portal to request a Council service or report an issue.
Several libraries across the Borough have already been reconfigured to create a one-stop-shop incorporating Council teams and partner organisations who can improve the range of services available, and Newcastle Building Society is set to add to the Yarm Library offer.
Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Arts, Leisure and Culture, Councillor Norma Wilburn, said: “We know how much residents value our libraries so we are continually looking for ways to invest in them and enhance the range of services they offer.
“I’ve no doubt the refurbishment of Yarm Library will transform it into a 21st Century facility which will benefit the local community for many generations to come.
“In recent years libraries in Billingham, Thornaby and Stockton have been redeveloped to incorporate additional facilities such as customer services for the Thirteen housing group, children’s centres and cash offices which has proved hugely popular with residents.
“We are having detailed discussions with Newcastle Building Society about the possibility of opening a branch within the library to support people in the area who would like financial advice.”
Andrew Haigh, Chief Executive at Newcastle Building Society, said: “The Newcastle Building Society is pleased to be working closely with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council to develop plans for a new community based branch and is excited by the prospect of re-establishing a presence on Yarm High Street.
“The Society is committed to making financial advice more readily available and supporting the local communities in which it operates. Our plans to launch a new concept branch, which are still in development, will support the delivery of this strategy. We look forward to announcing further details in the New Year.”
A planning application has been submitted and, if approved, work is expected to start early next year.
The library is likely to be closed for six months while the work takes place, but library users will be able to use alternative facilities at Egglescliffe and Ingleby Barwick libraries as well as the mobile library which regularly visits Timothy Hackworth Court in Yarm, Conyers Court in Yarm and Wycliffe/Ayresome Court in Yarm. For more information about the mobile library visit www.stockton.gov.uk/mobilelibrary