Plans have been submitted by RIO – the Real Ideas Organisation – who are proposing to take over the day to day running of the Library Service in Liskeard, keeping provision in the town centre.
The hope is to create a contemporary Library for Liskeard; an engaging space, open to everyone and with broad appeal.
The move comes as Cornwall Council continues its devolution of Libraries across Cornwall.
RIO’s plans for Liskeard Library show the ground floor renovated into a contemporary, flexible library and reading space – for children and adults alike – with the development of outdoor seating in the rear courtyard as well as a kitchen to cater for events and individual users in the space. The first floor will be designed for co-working, offering offices, breakout space and shared facilities for local businesses as well as for community learning.
The 20th century alterations to the library will be removed to allow the architectural integrity of the heritage building to take centre stage. Any new additions will be simple and elegant and sympathetic to the original building.
RIO hopes the project once completed will offer flexibility and opportunity for individual library users as well as local groups, many of whom have expressed a wish to use the Library for a broad range of community activities.
Lindsey Hall, Chief Executive of RIO said: “We’ve spent the last six months listening to and working with the local community to understand how the Library can play a vital role in the future prosperity of the town.
“We’ve had overwhelmingly positive feedback to our vision to create a vibrant, sustainable Library, along with some brilliant ideas from local people as to how the Library could support their aspirations, both personally, for their families and for the town.
“This planning application is about the fabric of the building, not about what books go where, but we look forward to getting on to the detail of the interior design subject to planning permission being granted by Cornwall Council.”
Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Cornwall Council has been working with a range of local organisations to find the best partners to take over the running of local libraries. Our aim throughout this process has been to work with partners and communities to create sustainable services that are aligned to local needs.”
RIO anticipates the planning process to take around 12 weeks and is hoping to receive a decision from Cornwall Council by the end of 2018. Subject to planning consent RIO hopes to begin works to update and improve the Library in early 2019.