Museums, Libraries and Archives council recommend 30 square metres of spaces for every one thousand population. For Southwark’s 305,000+ population (this number is those registered with GP’s) that would mean we needed 9,150 m2. Currently we have 4,914 m2. We clearly have a huge deficiency in library space.
The nearly finished Canada Water library will help by adding 1,315 m2 net compared to Rotherhithe library which will close. This still leaves us hugely deficient.
But more locally last night the Planning Committee approved a new development next to East Dulwich station that includes a new Grove Vale library. The current library has 100 m2 for customers and the new one would double that to 200 m2 + have 50 m2 terrace. The time line would see this delivered in the first half of 2014.
Its currently bursting at the seams homework club of kids mostly from the East Dulwich Estate in South Camberwell ward, toddlers groups, etc could all expand with no extra resources. The current library lease costs £25,000 a year but the new library would have a 125 year peppercorn rent of £100 a year. The new library would also be one big space allowing other services such as selling coffee etc to raise revenue to support the library. The new building will have CHP and be eco excellent in its part saving lots on the utility bills. The one risk is the current library review. I’m hopeful that new revenue streams and reducing layers of management and back office costs will occur from that review rather than close libraries from our already under dimensioned library service.
For your say on the Southwark Library review: https://forms.southwark.gov.uk/ShowForm.asp?fm_fid=591
For a picture of what 18-22 Grove Vale will broadly look like – 18_22 Grove Vale