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New National Lottery-funded library meeting room is a welcoming space in thriving Kingsbridge

Posted on 30 Sep 2021

Kingsbridge Library Meeting Room LaunchA new meeting space funded with £10,000 from the National Lottery has been officially opened in Kingsbridge Library today.

The room has a large Smart TV for presentations, free WiFi, a projector and screen, and users of the room can also access brand new kitchen facilities.

Library Supervisor Maria Johnson said: “Kingsbridge Library is a much-loved community hub, with up to 350 visitors each day. Our old kitchen and a staff workroom were outdated and it’s been wonderful for our customers and our staff to use these up-to-the-minute new facilities. We now have a welcoming space to meet, socialise, learn, read and enjoy new experiences.

“Due to the Covid restrictions, we have only been able to use the meeting room for a few months, but it is already being enjoyed by users including a children’s after-school craft club, a history study group and the Chamber of Commerce. It’s also being regularly booked for Zoom meetings using the WiFi, and for job interviews.”

Other meeting room users have included coding clubs, a free legal clinic and the Kingsbridge in Bloom volunteer group. The room can hold 14 people seated around a table (8 with social distancing) or 25 listening to a presentation (9 with social distancing). There is a public car park and bus station nearby, and disabled access to the library as it’s on the ground floor.

Funding for the project was generously given by:

The National Lottery Community Fund ‘Awards for All’: £10,000
Co-op Community Fund (via Friends): £1,800
Councillor Julian Brazil £1000
Councillor Rufus Gilbert £1000
Friends of Kingsbridge Library £1000 (plus extra for kitchen equipment and tables)
Individual local donors £400
Sea Moor Lotto £40.50
Howdens Joinery in Kingsbridge donated a complete new kitchen

Amanda Bloomer, Chair from the Friends of Kingsbridge Library, said: “We are so fortunate to have such a brilliant community resource right in the centre of town – our Library really is the beating heart of Kingsbridge which is mainly down to Maria and her wonderful team. The Friends were delighted to have been able to help enhance and extend what it could offer so that it is even more valuable and sustainable.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “It’s great to see members of the community working together with Libraries Unlimited to provide a new, modern meeting space for local people, groups and businesses in Kingsbridge. Libraries are important community hubs, and I’m sure the new facilities will be well used!”

Local Devon County Councillors have contributed towards the cost of the improvements from their locality budgets.

Devon County Councillor Julian Brazil, local member for Kingsbridge, said: “Kingsbridge is a vibrant community with a wealth of volunteer groups, businesses and creative groups that need space to get together. This meeting space will be a real asset to the town and will be much used by the whole community.”

Devon County Councillor Rufus Gilbert, local member for Salcombe, said: “The new meeting space will be a great addition to the library and will provide excellent new facilities for local people and businesses. I’m really pleased to have been able to support the improvements and have no doubt that the space will be enjoyed by many.”

To make a booking or for room hire enquiries please email: roomhire@librariesunlimited.org.uk

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.