Reprieve for Carnlough library

Carnlough. INLT 03-308-PR
Carnlough. INLT 03-308-PR

Larne Council has pledged its commitment to redevelop Carnlough library, after the under-threat facility was granted a reprieve this week.

Libraries NI, who previously announced its intention to shut the facility, has now stated that the building is to remain open.

However, its support for the retention of the branch is dependant on the building’s landlord (Larne Borough Council) pressing ahead with plans to carry out improvement works on the facility to make it sustainable.

A Libraries NI spokesperson said:“These improvements will create a modernised and enlarged library.”

And Sinn Fein Councillor James McKeown has urged the local authority to forge ahead with these plans “as swiftly as possible”.

He added: “The library has been granted an extension and the onus in now on Larne Borough Council to prioritise this issue and move it firmly to the top of its list of capital projects.”

Sinn Fein MLA for east Antrim, Oliver McMullan added: “I have met with the libraries board many times and they have always been impressed by the way in which the Carnlough library situation has been dealt with, both by the campaigning residents and Larne Borough Council.

“This library has the potential to be of great service, not only to library and community users, but also as a first class tourism base for Carnlough.

“I congratulate everyone who has helped to get things to this stage and also urge everyone in Carnlough to use the library because the whole project depends on continued high usage of the library facilities.”

Philip Thompson, director of environmental services for Larne Council, told the Times that the local authority is “committed” to delivering the project and added: “Plans have been drawn up in consultation with the local community and other stakeholders. The design team will soon be in a position to seek tenders from building contractors.”

The Times understands that the total cost of the project is more than £300,000. The Rural Development Programme is contributing funding to the tune of £30,000, and the remainder will be provided by the council.