Transformation work to offer residents easy access to a wide variety of services at Colchester Library and Community Hub is due to start next month.
The work, which is set to begin on 3 May 2016, is part of Essex County Council (ECC) and Colchester Borough Council’s (CBC) campaign to create a vibrant, welcoming community space.
The new space will include Colchester Community Voluntary Services (CCVS) and has been made possible thanks to a £205,000 grant awarded by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG).
All services will remain open throughout the works and disruption kept to a minimum ahead of the expected completion date in early June.
The ground floor space will be redesigned and redecorated, including easy to use iPads and other technology for customers, soft seating and a new sensory corner.
The sensory corner, within the Children’s library, will include interactive lighting, tactile walls and iPads with apps supporting and encouraging greater understanding of sensory needs. It is due to open in late June thanks to £10,000 awarded from local charity Colchester Catalyst following a bid by CCVS, ECC and CBC.
ECC registration services will also relocate to the Community Hub on 16 May, offering a comfortable and private space to register a birth, death or marriage.
Cllr Anne Brown, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Corporate, Communities and Customers, said: “This is an exciting time for the people of Colchester as we pull together a whole host of vital services into a beautifully redesigned space, while also offering some new ones too.
“The sensory corner will offer an invaluable and free resource to those caring for children with sensory needs or adults struggling with dementia.
“We aim to keep disruption to a minimum throughout the work and I look forward to unveiling this state-of-the-art facility in the coming months.”
Local company Carmelcrest are the lead contractor and Axis Europe are undertaking the redecoration for free as part of their commitment to community work.
They will follow plans drawn out by Colchester Institute student, Fiona Morris, who won a competition to help redesign the community space in December last year.
James Burton, Carmelcrest Contracts Manager, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Colchester Library redevelopment. We have been working within the public sector for 35 years and take pride in the fact we are creating new spaces for all to enjoy for years to come. We look forward to seeing the positive impact this project has on the community.”