New images released for Stockroom

Stockport Council said the two CGIs draw from feedback received from residents about what they wanted at the new learning and discovery centre in Merseyway.

Aew Architects designed the scheme. Manchester-based SpaceInvader Design is the interior designer for the project.

Proposals call for Stockroom to be larger than a football pitch with five times more floor space than the current library. It would be able to hold more than 20,000 books and would offer a touch-screen learning area. According to the council, it would also be able to stay open for longer due to its high street location.

Stockroom is designed to be accessible as well, with enhanced facilities for those with disabilities and direct access to 800 car parking spaces – including designated disabled and family spaces.

Stockroom CGI 2, Stockport Council, P Stockport Council

Aew Architects designed the scheme for Stockport Council. Credit: via Stockport Council

The council offered reassurances to residents that Stockroom would not result in a diminished or reduced library offer.

Cllr David Sedgwick, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focus & Engagement, said: “Many people see the project as a unique opportunity to breathe life back into the town centre and are strongly supportive of the new and improved facilities it will provide.

“We have to acknowledge the significant changes that have happened in recent times and the need to affect positive change.

“We need to ensure we have a vibrant town centre in Stockport and we need to provide our people with the very best facilities to learn and develop to reach their full potential, particularly in light of the economic challenges many families face as a result of the pandemic.”

Sedgwick said he understood there were strong feelings surrounding the current library.

“We appreciate the current library building is an emotive issue for many, but we are keen to ensure that residents have all the correct information regarding the implications of any potential move of library services.

“The council has already committed not to demolish or abandon the building, and will ensure that public access to the building will be retained in future should library services move to Stockroom. Library services would not be diminished in any way, in fact, this is an opportunity to enhance the service in a larger and more accessible space.”

The project received £14.5m from the government’s Future High Street Fund in 2019.

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This looks absolutely fantastic! It’s exactly what the future of our high streets is, community focused with lots to do for free, all under one roof. It brings people into the town centre for other reasons than the traditional retail offer, which in turn will support the remaining retail offer.

By Anonymous

Hard surfaces = noisy as hell for a library? Ridiculous! Over 7,500 signatures on a petition protest the library move from a purpose-built, Carnegie-funded, Edwardian Central Library that is eminently upgradable. Save the Stockroom spaces for public-facing Council office workers: a customer base for regenerating declining retail nearby.

By John Fidler

Here we go again! People talking down the plans. 7,500 that’s been running much longer than the consultation, didn’t give all the facts and we don’t know how many of them were from outside the Borough. As has been said many of times before this funding can’t be spent on the library building and any upgrade is somehow going to have to be found from the council’s capital programme.

By Anonymous

We already have free computer and library use. Why could touch screen learning not be offered in Central Library? My understanding is that the council is having to make a financial contribution to this anyway so why not spend on Central Library. Do we assume that the refit doesn’t extend to ceilings? More space doesn’t mean more space for the library. We can not swap what we have for this surely? Why sacrifice our beautiful Central Library for a concrete shopping centre. There are funds out there to help with finance and lots of towns have already refurbished their heritage buildings.

By Deborah Hind

800 parking spaces? Really? What a great ‘green’ initiative encouraging 800 people to drive their vehicles to a community library. Rubbish!

By Steve

Where does the local history library fit into this proposal? That was one of the best features of the Central Library.

By Mort Brandon

Deborah Hinds: Have you ever thought that the current Central Library isn’t in a fit for purpose location, half way up a steep hill with steps throughout? It’s not exactly a place you can just ‘pop in’ while doing other things, which is exactly why the Children’s library in the One Stockport Hub is popular. Anywhere that has barriers to access is never going to survive in its current form. Other authorities have shifted their libraries into more central locations with great success. You keep talking about other pots of funding but their aren’t any that would meet the required amount that Centra Library needs spending on it. And obviously, it’s a bid, you have no idea if your going to be successful with it. Meanwhile we have nearly £15m sat in the bank waiting to be spent on a transformational, town centre community hub. We’ve got to move on and think about the possibilities of what can be achieved!

By Anonymous

Have you not heard?
Primark is moving to Portwood and the Merseyway Shopping Precinct is being demolished to make way for the new proposed hospital!
Are you going to want to be traipsing around a building site to get to the Sickroom library?

By Andy Grey Rider

Andy Grey Rider: That’s just not true.

By Anonymous

The purpose of a library is to get people reading. I hope this project exceeds expectations and good use is made of the old building

By Hazel Bennett

The primary purpose of a library and librarians is a source of universal knowledge. Of course, instead of asking an expert, you can spend weeks trying your luck on the WWW, if you prefer. And that would save “precious taxpayers money” as some would have it.

By James Yates

Libraries aren’t needed in 2021

By Dan

Dan only ever says things to wind people up

By Anonymous

They could turn it into office’s. We need more offices in the Mersey way Liverpool.!

By Mary Woolley

You may be right Dan. It’s clear you’ve never used one.

By Ada

This is a fantastic use of what would otherwise be yet another empty, crumbling behemoth. Bring the library to the people, out if the intimidating, stuffy old buildings of the past and into everybody’s lives. Heritage snobs and history purists can do what they do best and have a good moan while everyone else enjoys better access and a friendlier welcome to this great resource.

By S Diamond

If you are responsible for blocking this because you simply dislike change for disliking change’s sake, shame on you. The existing library building won’t disappear… it will be repurposed into something better.

By Tom

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