CENTRAL Library could be relocated to the World of Glass building, a council meeting heard this morning (Wednesday, January 17).

The town centre library, situated in the Gamble Building, has been closed since last March for essential maintenance works, which were initially expected to be have been completed by December.

However, the reopening was put back to an indefinite date as both the inside and outside of the building required reconstruction work running up "significant" costs, which led to speculation over the library's future.

The local authority's Environment, Regeneration, Housing, Culture and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Panel was told the library could be set to move location.

Possible town centre destinations including St Mary's Market, the former Burton's and Fat Face store, Beacon Building and the World of Glass have been considered, with the museum building the most likely option.

The council has already announced that a new arts and culture centre is to be created at the World of Glass to help the town’s bid to become a centre of excellence.

St Helens Star:

A graphic of what the culture centre could look like

Cllr Sue Murphy, cabinet member for libraries and leisure, told the panel: "We understand how important this is to the people and I have made officers aware of the urgency.

"We have been looking at a number of areas to place Central Library in the interim.

"Work has been done looking to make the World of Glass a site that is part of the town's plans for culture."

She added: "At the moment we are looking we are just looking at the feasibility of putting the service in there both short-term and perhaps long-term. I can't give any details on this."

Panel member Cllr Richard McCauley raised a concern over "accessibility" of the World of Glass from the town centre bus station.

The hearing heard Central Library stock has been moved to Chester Lane Library during its closure, with extended opening hours at other libraries.

The panel heard that repairs at the Gamble Building are estimated to cost £428,000 and £750,000 for external works.

Other parts of the Gamble Building unaffected by the works have remained in use.

When questioned, about the Local History Archives, Cllr Murphy added they currently remain in the Gamble Building and the public can still make appointments to view them.

She added a timescale of the relocation and the amount of money involved could not yet be stated.