Council to spend £175,000 on Deepings Library building

Deepings Community Library, High Street, Market Deeping.  Photo by Oliver Wilson.
Deepings Community Library, High Street, Market Deeping. Photo by Oliver Wilson.

The building housing Deepings Library will close for the summer while Lincolnshire County Council spends £175,000 refurbishing it.

The authority wants to turn Wake House, in High Street, Market Deeping, into a community hub.

We are delighted that the council is, at last, giving the library building the care and attention that it deserves, after 20 years of neglect.

Friends of Deepings Library chairman Liz Waterland

The building, which includes the library on the ground floor and office space on the first floor, has not had a major revamp in some time.

Talks between the council and the Friends of Deepings Library group over the future of the library itself are ongoing. It was one of 32 to lose its funding when the authority decided to cut £2m from its annual £6m libraries budget in February.

The council’s assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said: “The library is being closed from 1pm on Saturday, June 20, for improvement works within the building.

“The main aim is to bring the upper level to a sufficient standard so it can be used as office space. It is estimated that the work will cost £175,000.

“An additional benefit of the works is that they will help make a community hub at the site a more viable option, something we have discussed with the local groups.

“During the closure, we’ll be providing a weekly mobile library so people can still use our services. The service will be every Saturday, 10.30am to 3.00pm.

“In the meantime, the council is continuing its discussions with the local community and district council on the long-term plans for the library.”

The library is due to reopen in September.

The Friends of Deepings Library was set up to look at ways of keeping the facility open when the threat of closure became apparent. The council hopes those libraries that have lost their funding will be run permanently by volunteer groups, and has set aside funding to help them.

People in the Deepings are still fighting for a professionally-run library in their community.

Friends chairman Liz Waterland said: “We are delighted that the council is, at last, giving the library building the care and attention that it deserves, after 20 years of neglect.

“Originally called The Park the house was lived in from the Victorian era by the Wade family, well-known local solicitors, in whose honour it has become known as Wade House.

“It was sold to the county council in the early 1970s and became the library soon afterwards.

“It is a Grade II listed building with great charm and character and is an iconic part of the Deepings’ history and heritage. The refurbishment and repair is long overdue and we look forward to seeing the library building in good condition again.

“The Friends hope to be able to mount a small exhibition about the history of Wade House later in the year with the help of William Wade, one of the surviving members of the family.”

A bid to run the county’s libraries, made by Greenwich Leisure Limited during consultation on the cuts, meant the council had to put the remaining service out to tender.

Initial applications to deliver library services in Lincolnshire have now been sent in by six organisations. They are Compass Point Business Services, Greenwich Leisure Limited, Leisure in the Community, Lincs Inspire, Vision, and Vivacity.

Stamford Library and Bourne Library are among those covered by the procurement process. A final decision is likely to be made at the end of the year.