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Dementia friendly library reopens following £195,000 redevelopment

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STOCKTON Heath Library has reopened following a 12-week, £195,000 redevelopment that sees it become the borough’s first dementia friendly stand-alone library.

The library was officially reopened by Cllr Tony Higgins, Warrington Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Leisure and Community at an event also attended by Warrington South MP Faisal Rashid, the Friends of the South Warrington Library in Stockton Heath (SWISH) group, and partner organisations who will be using the library.

Stockton Heath Library, on Alexandra Road, is the first of the town’s libraries to benefit from Warrington Borough Council’s £1m library investment programme.

Other improvements made during the redevelopment, which aimed to transform the library into a more fit for purpose facility for the south Warrington community, included:

• Full lighting replacement.
• Redecoration throughout.
• New kitchenette for community group use.
• Reconfigured internal space to improve access for the community outside of library opening hours.
• Redeveloped space that will enable co-location for third party organisations such as Stockton Heath Parish Council.

Cllr Higgins said: “As part of Warrington Borough Council’s £1m library modernisation programme, the changes at Stockton Heath have been driven by a strong partnership between Warrington Borough Council, LiveWire, the SWISH ‘Friends of’ group and the local Stockton Heath working group.

“The business case for the library established a shared vision for the library that took on the challenges of a modern society and addressed them through focused improvements including dementia friendly design and accessible community facilities. The vision aims to ensure the library has a sustainable future and we look forward to working with new partners moving forward.

“This redeveloped library is testament to the tireless work and commitment of the working group, as well as library staff. It’s a fantastic example of what can be achieved when partners come together for the benefit of the community.”

Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire, said: “We know that libraries aren’t only about books on shelves – they have an important place in the wider community, combating social isolation and offering important resources and a place for the community to connect. This ethos was key to the vision behind the redevelopment of Stockton Heath Library.

“It has been so rewarding to see how the wider community has come together to support the redevelopment at all stages of the project. And LiveWire’s dedicated library staff and our partners have worked tirelessly to help achieve this vision, and to ensure that the library stock at Stockton Heath reflects the needs of the community.

“Feedback received from local people throughout the opening week has been positive and encouraging and I would like to thank the community for their continued support throughout the journey and hope they enjoy using this library and continue to do so in the years ahead.”

For more information on LiveWire’s libraries visit www.livewirewarrington.co.uk

Cllr Higgins performs the official opening

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Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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