Hove Library in Church Road could be sold to private developers under plans to integrate the library into a new “cultural centre” in Hove Museum and save money.
The plans to sell the Grade II listed building are part of an attempt to save £2.5 million [in total] over five years and reduce the running costs of an already overstretched council budget [see earlier story].
The city council has said, “The financial shortfall means that the citywide library service alone needs to save £1.34 million in the next four years. Across the whole council, savings of almost £70 million have to be made in the next four years.
“If agreed, the proposal would entail integrating the library service into a new cultural centre with Hove Museum a few hundred yards away in New Church Road. Any change would be subject to extensive public consultation between mid-November and next February.”
“As a Grade 2 listed building, the premises are hard to upgrade cost-effectively, making modern IT cabling or revenue-generating measures such as a shop or café difficult. Various parts of the building cannot affordably be made accessible to disabled staff or users.
Any implementation would not take place before 2017. Councillor Warren Morgan, the Labour leader of the council, said: “Relocating Hove Library offers the biggest single potential saving with the least amount of damage to the overall service. We could vacate the building and still provide a good service for Hove in a new way.
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