Suffolk Libraries, the charity which runs the county’s library service, and Suffolk County Council have announced that Suffolk’s newest library branch will be opening in Moreton Hall, near Bury St Edmunds.
The new library will open for the first time on Monday 1 August – which also marks Suffolk Libraries’ tenth birthday. The new Moreton Hall Library will be the first new library in Suffolk for over ten years and will increase the number of Suffolk libraries from 44 to 45.
The following day a new weekly pop-up library session will also launch in Red Lodge.
Several libraries have moved to new and improved facilities in the past year including Mildenhall, Saxmundham, Southwold, Needham Market and Long Melford.
The new library will be based at Moreton Hall Community Centre which has been extended and refurbished to accommodate it and already contains a post office. The project is largely being paid for by developer funding from new housing developments in the area and aims to meet the needs of the growing community.
Moreton Hall Community Association and Moreton Hall Residents’ Association were also instrumental in getting the project off the ground alongside West Suffolk Council, Suffolk County Council and Bury St Edmunds Town Council.
The new library is due to open to customers from 9AM on Monday 1 August. It will be staffed for 17 hours per week with new self-service equipment allowing customers to access the library and borrow items for an additional 50 hours per week outside of staffed hours.
This will be the first time that Suffolk Libraries has used the Open Plus system which is used by a number of other services as a way of increasing the accessibility of libraries beyond staffed hours.
Like all other libraries across the county, Moreton Hall will also offer free IT and internet access and a range of activities, which will be confirmed soon.
The new Red Lodge Suffolk Libraries Local session will launch on 2 August and run every Tuesday at Red Lodge Sports Pavilion from 9.30AM to 12.30PM. The session will include a Tot Rock session for young children at 9.30AM and social activities for adults at 11am. The session is being funded by Planner Development money for the area.
As of 2 August Suffolk will have 45 library sites, plus three mobile libraries and three ‘pop-up’ sessions.
Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with Suffolk County Council, West Suffolk Council and partners across these two communities to deliver the many benefits a new library brings. We pride ourselves on working with local people to create the service they want at the heart of their community. So it’s fitting that we mark our tenth birthday by launching two exciting projects that will enable us to better connect local people and support their needs by bringing the extraordinary everyday to life in their area.”
Councillor Bobby Bennett, Suffolk County Council Cabinet Member for Equality and Communities, said:
“The new libraries will bring vital services to the heart of their communities, offering so much more than just books, through varied activities which support people’s health and wellbeing. They will also offer a safe and welcoming space where people can get online and get access to advice and information. It is fitting that the new library in Moreton Hall opens on Suffolk Libraries’ 10th Birthday!”
Speaking about Moreton Hall Library, Councillor Robert Everitt, West Suffolk Council’s Cabinet Member for Families and Communities said:
“We are delighted by this announcement which has come as a result of some fantastic collaborative work between the community association, the library service, the town, district and county councils and well as input from our local ward councillors and the residents’ association.
"We have worked to help the centre become a sustainable community-owned and run facility and, as with our other hub projects, we look forward to seeing the new library service at the heart of community life.”
The opening hours at the new Moreton Hall Library will be as follows:
- Monday - 9AM to 12.30PM
- Tuesday – 8.30AM to 6.45PM (self-service only)
- Wednesday – 8.30AM to 12.30PM, and 1PM to 5.45PM (self-service from 8.30 - 12.30 and 4.30 to 5.45)
- Thursdays - 9AM to 5.45PM (self-service from 12.30 - 5.45)
- Friday – 8.30AM to 12.30PM, and 1PM to 6.30PM (self-service from 8.30 - 12.30 and 4.30 - 6.30)
- Saturday - 10AM to 4PM (self-service 1 - 4)
- Sunday 12PM to 4PM (self-service only)