Cambridge library and community hub feasibility study
Council is about to start some work to investigate the possibility of a new library and community hub for Cambridge.
The current library has outgrown the building and cannot meet customer and staff expectations. There is not enough room for books and items, there are limited spaces for events and education programmes and staff are struggling to work in the congested back office spaces. With a growing population and more diverse demographics it is important that the facilities we provide meet the needs of the current and future Waipā community.
Examples of new library spaces in New Zealand and research from around the world shows that modern libraries are more than just a quiet place to research and borrow books. They need to have a focus on lifelong learning and need to cater for the wider social needs of our communities. Libraries are now often vibrant hubs that play critical roles in the community.
What happens now
The first step of the project is for Council to do a feasibility study. A feasibility study will look at the different options available for the library and community hub and assess things in terms of community need, cost, and practicality.
This feasibility study has a budget of up to $250,000 and is being funded by central government’s Better Off Fund which aims to invest in the future of Local Government and community wellbeing.
The feasibility study is set to begin in September and aims to be completed by February 2024.
The Cambridge Community Board are huge advocates for a new library / community space. They have recently ran a survey to find out what the community want to see in the new space. This feedback is currently being summarised and will be provided to Council and captured in the feasibility study. You can have your say in the survey here.
What happens next
The findings and insights gained through the feasibility study phase will be used to refine the scope of the library and community hub. It’s likely there will be multiple options that will need further investigation. We’ll also want to get more community feedback along the way too.
The budget and timing for the project will need to be included in Council’s 2024-34 Long-Term Plan. The Long-Term Plan is Council’s plan that shows what projects will take place over the ten-year period, when they will take place, and how much they will cost (and how they will be paid for).
Council’s draft Long-Term Plan will be created and open for community consultation in early 2024. The Plan is generally confirmed in May / June so it’s all ready to go from 1 July 2024.