A highly interactive learning and play space for children and families will be created at Colchester Library, thanks to funding from the Libraries Improvement Fund.
We have secured £337,500 from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) via the Arts Council England fund.
This funding will allow us to create a new Children’s Imagination and Literacy Centre at Colchester Library, in Trinity Square.
The Centre will be a free-flowing inclusive space featuring interactive Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) equipment, providing an environment for young people to thrive in.
Equipment will include augmented reality mirrors, a bubble screen, infinity mirrors and specialist LED lighting, whilst the centre will have a Roman theme to fit Colchester’s history.
The new area will be sited on the ground floor of Colchester Library where the escalator is set to be removed, transforming the existing awkward layout. The space will better connect the children’s library, sensory bay, and literacy area, improving the library’s offer.
We will be contributing £112,500 towards the total project cost of £450,000.
The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, visited Colchester Library on Monday, where she was joined by Cllr Louise McKinlay, ECC Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance.
Cllr McKinlay said: “It was fantastic to be able to welcome The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP to Colchester Library, where with the help of our dedicated library staff I was able to share more information about our exciting plans for the new Children’s Imagination and Literacy Centre and demonstrate our passion and commitment for our libraries across Essex.
“The innovative new centre will be a really exciting addition to Colchester Library, better joining up the library’s offer and creating new opportunities for children and families to learn and play in a unique, interactive setting.
“Improving literacy is a key priority for us and this investment will help us meet our Levelling Up ambitions by creating a fun and interactive environment which encourages a love of learning and reading.”
The new centre supports the aims of our Everyone's Library Service 2022-2026 plan.