Release date: 22 January 2019
A new project that puts public buildings at the heart of the community has been announced by West Sussex County Council.
The plan is to create community hubs, transforming buildings into places where a range of services will be provided. The idea is to create modern spaces where local people can meet, learn, take part in community activities and access the services they need.
Five million pounds has been earmarked for the community-led project which aims to safeguard the future of library services and children and family services.
The first of the community hubs to get the go ahead is in Worthing. It follows a public consultation last year where the council heard a range views from local people about how best to remodel the local library. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the views shared, helped form early design concepts.
The community hub in Worthing will see the children and family services, registration services and library services based out of what will be the redesigned site of Worthing library.
The plan is for the new community hub to be ready to open in the summer of 2020. In order to complete the work, the Library in Richmond Road will close for approximately 6 months. During the work, there will be alternative library service provision.
Debbie Kennard, the Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities said:
“This is an incredibly exciting project. Not only are we investing in the future of our communities, we are also investing in the future of key services. People shaped our early concept design for Worthing and communities across West Sussex will shape the future of their community hubs.
“Councils up and down the country are facing a tough financial challenge. Where it makes sense, we will look at moving key services for people of all ages under one roof in new, engaging public spaces. That way we save money and protect the future of much cherished community assets.”
The Council, working with relevant partners, will now identify possible locations for future community hubs. There will be a thorough engagement with the local communities in order to develop a bespoke community hub that reflects the views, ideas and needs of people in that area.