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St James Library set to reopen at new location

Schools library service

21 April 2022

Graphic showing 4 West Northamptonshire Council offices around the county

A Northampton library forced to shut indefinitely during the Covid pandemic could soon be looking forward to a bright new chapter as plans to secure a new operator continue to move forward.

St James’ Library may soon be able to reopen after the Council received a viable bid to move the library from its current location in St James Square, to new operators.

Sixfields Councillors Cllr Imran Chowdhury BEM, Cllr Brian Sargeant, and Cllr Nick Sturges-Alex have been working hard to evaluate bidders to run the services and working with council officers to progress to the best outcome for the residents of St James.

A business case has now been developed and proposals for funding the necessary IT infrastructure are due to go the Council’s Cabinet, with further information on the new operators set to be announced once a decision has been made.

Following this decision work to transfer the library expected to start shortly afterwards.

Cllr Chowdhury said: “We felt that the bid was very strong, we need to unite the community,” with Cllr Sargeant adding: “Libraries provide many services other than lending books, and that they are an essential element to a thriving community."

Cllr Sturges-Alex explained: “In recent history libraries have always helped the disadvantaged to access education and the concept is just as relevant today, and bringing this library into a building that is already run for the local community, by a group that is dedicated to this purpose, is a perfect fit."

Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of West Northamptonshire Council and cabinet member for Housing, Culture & Leisure said: “I am delighted that we now have an acceptable offer accompanied with a viable business case to reinstate a community library in St James. Local ward members and the community have stepped up to ensure that a valuable resource won’t be lost, and I commend everyone involved on their hard work.”

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