Sunday 16 June 2019

New library bid for 2022

Sorcha Crowley at Sligo Municipal District meeting

Sligo could have a new state of the art Central Library by April 2022.

The Council and IT Sligo are hoping the Urban Regeneration Development Fund will approve their application in the New Year to allow for the development of a Sligo Learning and Ideas Generation Centre (SLIGC).

The centre would be a collaboration between the Council and the IT, incorporating a new Central Public Library, as well as research and innovation centres for the IT and local entrepreneurs.

It would be situated on Council property on the Mall.

If the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) (which was launched in July this year as part of Project Ireland 2040) approves the joint application, Phase 1 will take place next year.

It will involve a complete Master Plan, feasibility study and business plan in 2019.

Phase 2 in 2020-2022 will see the final design, plan, tendering and construction of the new Centre. Both the Council and the IT intend to open the library to the public in April 2022.

A decision on the application is due to be made in the New Year.

Councillor Chris MacManus, who had sought the update as a self-professed "bibliophile", said libraries make towns "better places" and welcomed the update.

"The number of events held in Sligo library shows the potential if we were to have modern facilities," he said.

He said the current library was only 250 sqm while the recommended size for a modern library is 2,500sqm, "ten times the size of Sligo library."

Director of Services Dorothy Clarke said the new Sligo Learning and Ideas Generation Centre "should meet the growing needs of the Sligo population."

"Let's hope this initiative between Sligo County Council and IT Sligo will work," said Cllr Seamus Kilgannon.

"It's needed today. It would be wonderful to provide a new library service for the public and study area for Sligo IT," he said.

Cllr MacManus welcomed the update from the Director of Services.

"I'm glad to hear we have a structured time-line. It totally depends on the application...we might get an announcement in February, that's three months before the local elections," he said.

"I know that Government Departments like to see things integrated and synergies. That's a welcome innovation," he told the meeting.

Sligo Champion