Decision details

Approval to spend on replacement library for Woolston

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To consider the report of the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Leisure Services seeking approval to incur the remaining expenditure in the capital programme for the project to deliver the new Woolston library.


The project will replace an inadequate building with poor disabled access in a ward which includes areas experiencing multiple deprivation.



(i)  To approve, in accordance with Financial Procedure Rules, capital expenditure of £796,000 in 2014/15 and £19,000 in 2015/16 from the Economic Development and Leisure Capital Programme for completion of the replacement library project  in Centenary Quay.

(ii)  To authorise the Head of Property Services to do anything necessary to undertake the procurement of the refit of the premises up to and including financial close.

(iii)  To authorise the Director of Environment and Economy to do anything necessary to give effect to the proposal.

Reasons for the decision:

Council in November 2012 added £957,000 to the Economic Development and Leisure Capital Programme for the fitting out of community facilities including a replacement library in Centenary Quay. Cabinet, also in November, approved expenditure of £142,000 from the Capital Programme to complete the design work for the project. The design work is expected to be complete by September  and put out to tender from October onwards enabling the fitting out to be complete in 2014/2015. 

Alternative options considered:

1 The Council could continue to work from the existing library and not move to Centenary Quay.  The existing library is in poor condition, has a significant repairs backlog estimated to potentially cost £120,000 (£11,000 of this is likely to be incurred within 2/3 years and the remainder has yet to be assigned a timescale) and does not provide disabled access for people in wheelchairs.In public consultation by SEEDA, who then owned the land, a replacement library emerged as the improvement local people most wanted to see on the site.


2 The Council could consider alternative uses for the library space.  This would require Crest Nicholson’s co-operation for a new planning application for change of use and an amendment to the Section 106 Agreement.  If the Council wished to use the building it would still face the cost of fitting out.

Report author: David Baldwin

Publication date: 20/08/2013

Date of decision: 20/08/2013

Decided at meeting: 20/08/2013 - Cabinet

Effective from: 29/08/2013

Accompanying Documents: