No New Ealing Central Library Until 2019

Relocation project begins next month with stock of books to fall by 70%

(Artist's impression of what new library could look like)


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Plans to shut the current Ealing Central Library site, relocate and downsize it have been condemned by opposition councillors.

The project begins next month and will mean the library moving to another space within Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre and scheduled to open in Spring 2019.

Until that point a 'pop-up' library point will open at the current site for collecting book reservations and returning items.

The old library site in the shopping centre will be taken over by what's being described as 'a high quality retailer' - but there has been no announcement as to who that will be.

The relocation is being funded by British Land, which owns the land and the council say they will provide temporary study and learning space in the shopping centre until March 2019, with further spaces across the borough’s libraries being made available to support local students during the run-up to mock exams in December.

Users will be able to access the 24/7 online resources, order books online, as well as ordering and collecting books from other library locations. The closest libraries are Acton, West Ealing and Northfields.

The Archives and Local Studies Store will close next month and relocate to the new premises in the shopping centre. During this relocation period, customers will be able to order items for viewing by appointment at the new Local Studies Customer Desk in West Ealing Library.

Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for business and community services said: “The relocation of Ealing Central Library is great news for local residents and the regeneration of the area.

“Local people will benefit from a brand-new, fully fitted modern library in Ealing town centre at no cost to council tax payers. It also allows new retail opportunities as a result of the space vacated by the old site.

“We are committed to delivering first-class library facilities for residents of all ages. When complete, Ealing Central will offer a wealth of online resources, books and study space and as it will be relocated within the shopping centre, which has good access to local public transport.”

The council say that when completed, the new library will offer greater access to digital and self-service facilities, accommodate roughly 40,000 books and provide a range of study areas. It will be designed to enable the space to be used flexibly in a variety of ways, including for events, activities and adult learning classes.

However Cllr Greg Stafford, Opposition Leader said, “Under Labour’s plans, the book stock in the new library will be reduced from 124,000 to 35,000 a 71% reduction.  Valuable designated study places will be reduced from 155 to 65; a 58% reduction. 

''The existing libraries cannot provide any more study spaces and why should our students have to be trekking across the borough looking for a space to study?

''It doesn’t take a degree to see that only person benefitting from this deal is the developer who is getting a larger commercial area to rent to for profit, in exchange for providing a smaller space, not fit for retail purposes.

''Only Labour would consider a significantly smaller cramped space, with a fraction of the resources, a 'first-class' library.  Anyone who wants to see an example of a first-class library, should look in neighbouring Conservative-run Hillingdon.”

July 4 2018

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