Release date: Monday 25 November
The doors to Burgess Hill’s brand new library will officially open from 9.30am on Tuesday 3 December.
The library team will be on hand to welcome residents to the new building, delivered by NewRiver REIT (NewRiver) for West Sussex County Council, which boasts a lift, modernised public computer area, new flexible shelving and a Changing Places toilet facility - the only one in the centre of town.
The new library forms part of NewRiver’s wider plans for the town centre redevelopment in order to create a vibrant and sustainable destination that will meet the future needs of the local community. Feedback from residents during NewRiver’s community open days over the summer led to the layout of the library being revised to accommodate the Changing Places toilet.
Changing Places toilets are designed to meet the needs of people for whom standard accessible toilets are not suitable, including an adult sized changing bench, hoist and adequate space for carers to support a disabled person.
Lesley Sim, West Sussex County Council Head of Libraries, Heritage & Registration, said: “Libraries are not only a great place for residents to come and immerse themselves in a good book, they can also be used to go online, socialise or attend different events like Knit and Natter or Rhyme Time.
“The new library is a fantastic example of a space designed for the community and the team at Burgess Hill are dedicated to bringing this space to life and helping make the new location as friendly and welcoming as the old one.”
Justin Thomas, Director at NewRiver, said: “We are really pleased that the new library for Burgess Hill will soon be open. We have worked closely with West Sussex County Council and the local community to incorporate their feedback into the proposals for this space.
“The opening of the new library in the heart of the town is another milestone in NewRiver’s wider development plans for the regeneration of the town centre, and we look forward to continuing to bring forward this change for Burgess Hill."
On the day there will be a very special guest to help mark the opening of the new library. The favourite children’s book character, The Gruffalo, created by our friend Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. The Gruffalo will be there at 9.30am when the library opens and will reappear at 4pm to welcome children visiting after school.
For anyone who sent in a recommendation for new books they would like to see at the library, the new titles that were picked will also be arriving over the next few months.
Burgess Hill Library has relocated to 15-19 The Martlets, a few hundred metres from its previous location as part of the town centre regeneration project being delivered by NewRiver. The proposals for the wider regeneration of the town centre have been submitted to the local authority with a decision coming shortly.