Stockport Council pledge to safeguard historic Central Library building

Stockport Council has pledged to preserve public access to Stockport’s historic Central Library building, even if library services were to move from the building in the future.

The Council is currently going through an engagement process with residents having won £14.5m of Government money to transform vacant retail units in Merseyway into a brand new learning and discovery space, provisionally entitled Stockroom.

If through the current engagement process, the people of Stockport say they are interested in Stockroom housing a 21st Century library offer then residents will later have the chance to take part in a formal consultation process, which could lead to library services moving from the current Central Library building on the A6 to Stockroom.

Should residents support the creation of a new 21st Century library services in the heart of the town centre, the Council has pledged that it will retain the freehold to the current Central Library building and seek to find the right alternative uses that will allow for continued public access.

Cllr David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement, said: “We are very proud to have secured £14.5m of Government funding to deliver a new learning and discovery space which we are confident will bring hundreds of thousands of additional visitors each year to Stockport town centre.

“The proposals for Stockroom are about improving the life chances of the people of Stockport. The new space, which is the size of a football pitch, will enable us to expand our library and cultural services.

“The future of the Central Library building is a concern for all of us so, I would like to clarify the Council’s position on this.

“If through the current engagement process, the people of Stockport support an expanded 21st Century library offer in Stockroom, then there will be a formal consultation process, which could lead to library services moving from the current Central Library building on the A6 to the new Stockroom facility.

“We have already been very clear that no decision about moving library services would be taken until such a consultation has taken place.

“Whatever the result of that formal consultation process there is no intent from this Cabinet to demolish or abandon the Central Library building – it is a Grade II listed building and is a much loved and important part of our town’s heritage which we want to preserve.

“As such, Stockport Council has agreed some clear pledges for the future of the Central Library Building. We want to let people know the building will not be demolished or abandoned, the Council will not sell the freehold of the Central Library building and the Council will not redevelop the Central Library buildings for flats or any residential use."

Should a decision be taken to move library services from this building following a full consultation, the Council is committed to pursuing alternate uses that are sensitive to the building’s character and are consistent with allowing public access to the building.

Stockport Council is keen to hear from people about what kinds of services they would like to see inside the new £14.5m learning and discovery space in Merseyway, provisionally entitled Stockroom.

To have your say on Stockroom please visit: https://stockroomstockport.uk.engagementhq.com.