TAMESIDE Council is closing Ashton’s library after being told £1.2 million worth of extra fire protection is needed – just two years after it opened.
Despite meeting British fire safety standards, 12 weeks’ work is needed after being instructed by insurers to reduce risk and insurance premiums for the building at Tameside One.
That means more fire detection equipment will be installed in the voids between floors, and disruption for customers from 3pm on Saturday, November 6.
Described as an ‘invest to save proposal’, it is needed after changes in the fire insurance market following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and other similar incidents.
And the £1,249,363 outlay would negate a year-on-year insurance increase.
To balance out the closure, staffed opening hours at Droylsden, Dukinfield and Stalybridge Libraries will be extended.
In addition, from November 22, a limited service will be available from Level One at in
Tameside Council insist customers will still be able to access the full range of library services at any of the other seven libraries.
And fines will not accrue on any items borrowed from Ashton Library whilst the main library is closed.
Tameside Council’s executive member responsible for libraries, Cllr Leanne Feeley, admitted the closure may inconvenience some customers.
She said: “We’re looking forward to getting the works out of the way and Ashton Library back open and welcoming customers as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, we appreciate customers may be inconvenienced so we’re putting measures in place to make it as easier for people to use our other local libraries – as well as our full range of online resources – as an alternative.”
A spokesman added: “We have chosen to do the works in order to reduce insurance premiums and enhance fire safety.
“The building has always been safe and compliant but, like any insurable risk, it makes sense – from both a risk and economic point of view – to further explore what else can be done.
“There are a range of additional, enhanced fire detection/protection measures that will go in.”
Limited Library Service at Tameside One from 22 November:
Monday – Wednesday: 9am-5pm
From 8 November: Droylsden Library
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 9am-5pm