May 18, 2022 5.30 pm

Alford library and public toilets will get refurbed after town council takeover

Expansion will increase opportunities

Plans to expand and refurbish Alford’s public library and toilets have been revealed.

Alford Town Council has applied to East Lindsey District Council to partially demolish the existing library building, known as Alford Focal Point, and the public toilet block on South Market Place and replace them with an extension which will create additional rooms and new facilities.

The council was given the library building by Lincolnshire County Council in 2021 and the public toilets by East Lindsey District Council in 2020 as the authorities looked to save cash in their own budgets by cutting down on maintenance.

A design and access statement said the proposals will provide a dedicated children’s library which will also include the ability to be used for public events such as playgroups, yoga classes and social events. Income from hire will go to the library charity running the building.

The plans show a dedicated computer space and café servery. An additional office space will also be created which can be hired out for use or used by council officers and members of other public bodies.

A new lift and disabled accessibility features will be included in the build, while dedicated office space for the town council’s clerk will be included.

Designs for the new library submitted to East Lindsey District Council.

The statement said the public toilets, built in the 1970s, were “tired”.

The proposals will see the existing facility upgraded with five general unisex toilets and one changing places/disability friendly toilet.

“The fundamental objective of this project is to reinvigorate this key existing social hub for the town of Alford and the surrounding wider areas, to ensure the longevity of this important community asset and resource,” said the document.

“Failure to move forward and evolve with the modern requirements of its users will ultimately result in obsolescence and subsequent closure.”

How the library and toilet extension could look.

In 2016, the library was taken over by a group of volunteers after the county council outsourced 16 of its “core” libraries to Greenwich Leisure and handed 30 others to local groups as part of a bid to save £1.9million.

At the time it was given an interior refurbishment and decoration in a bid to attract new users.