Rufford Abbey Country Park and libraries’ investment details unveiled

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Nottinghamshire County Council has announced the progress of some of its key capital projects with libraries and country parks.

A report highlighting the current schemes is to be discussed by the council’s Culture Committee on Tuesday (SEP4) at County Hall. These relate to a number of county libraries and to Rufford Abbey Country Park.

As part of the report, committee members will discuss the county council’s recently approved Strategy for Nottinghamshire Libraries, featuring a ten-point plan for the service to boost library services and invest and develop the library network.

The schedule of works features both planned and approved libraries capital schemes at a number of county libraries.

Coun John Cottee, Committee Chairman for Culture, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The current and planned schemes further illustrate the county council’s long-term vision for the future investment and enhancement of the library service. We see libraries as the very heart-beat of communities and this planned investment demonstrates the commitment to this vision.”

Current schemes include:

Annesley Woodhouse Library - £110,000: To co locate the library with an extended local Community Centre. Contractor tender - Autumn/Winter 2012.

Calverton Library - £50,000: Library makeover to improve environment and enhance service. Design/orders - September 2012.

In addition to the current programme outlined above, a long term Library Refurbishment Programme (Phase II) totalling £3.3m over the period 2014 - 2023 is in place.

The programme will include a range of redesign and refurbishment. More details will emerge as the individual refurbishment schemes are developed, but the guidance dates per scheme are detailed below:

2014/15 - Keyworth Library and Ollerton Library

2015/16 – Edwinstowe Library and Ruddington Library

2018/19 – Newark Library

2019/20 - Mansfield Woodhouse Library

2020/21 – Calverton Library

2021/22 – Ravenshead Library, Blidworth Library

A further £35,000 has been identified to co-locate Tuxford Library as and when an appropriate scheme opportunity arises.

Meanwhile, the council’s Culture Committee will also discuss the latest developments within the country park’s service to further enhance the facilities at Rufford Abbey Country Park.

A Rufford Development Group has been set up to oversee the creation of a new longer-term strategy for the park.

Coun Cottee said: “Rufford is a very popular tourist destination and we are delighted to be able to announce some plans to enhance it further.

“The development group has already identified some short term improvements to the physical aspects of the park, and there are also plans to prepare and submit a major capital funding application to support longer term refurbishments and restoration of the park.”

In the last financial year, the county council approved for £85,000 to undertake improvements to the Savile Restaurant and the Orangery buildings with development ideas currently being discussed for both.

The committee will discuss how a further £250,000 has now been identified to help improve the paths network, signage and the car park facilities in a series of ground works. The works will start this autumn and are set to be completed by the end of the financial year.

At the same time as these works are being carried out, the county council will work with partner agencies on a draft master plan for the country park, and it is hoped it will be presented to the Culture Committee later this financial year.