St Helens library’s winter move to the World of Glass has been delayed, with the opening date to be announced “as soon as it is known”.

Plans to establish a new town centre library at the World of Glass were originally unveiled in 2019.

The council originally targeted winter opening of the library but with winter drawing to a close, a firm opening date has still not been announced.

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A council spokesman has confirmed the opening of the library has been delayed and blamed the hold-up on the scale of the work involved in the project.

“The standards required of a modern library have meant there has been a need to upgrade the broadband connections, improve the ventilation and lighting to the areas the library will occupy at the World of Glass – along with introducing new power supplies,” a council spokesman said.

“All of this work has had to be planned in tandem with designing the library layout of the new library and as is always the case building drawings rarely match the picture on site.

“This has led to delays in completing the necessary works to enable the new library to open.”

St Helens town centre has been without a library since the closure of Central Library, based in the Gamble Building, in March 2017.

When the council unveiled plans to open a new library at the World of Glass in April 2019, the council said it would only be a temporary arrangement.

However, it is understood the move could end up being permanent if sufficient plans for the Gamble are agreed.

In January, a decision through delegated powers to award the contract for the refurbishment works for the library at the World of Glass.

The contract was awarded to the internationally renowned library designers, Demco Interiors, who have completed the design for the new library and the furniture.

The council says the furniture, which is now being built off-site, is easily transferable.

The council also confirmed the staff team who will operate the new library have been appointed.

St Helens Star: Central Library, based in the Gamble Building, has been closed since March 2017Central Library, based in the Gamble Building, has been closed since March 2017

“St Helens Library will be the first council library to offer self-serve technology to allow library users to quickly and efficiently borrow and return books themselves,” the spokesman said.

“It will offer books and resources for children, teenagers and adults, an IT area with new high specification computers with Wi-Fi printing and an exciting programme of events, including the award-winning cultural hubs, arts in libraries programme.

“Locating the library within the World of Glass will also give library users access to car parking, a café, and shop.

“As yet we do not have a firm opening date but we are excited to announce this to residents and will do so as soon as it is known.”

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Ron Helsby, executive director at the World of Glass, said the new library will prove to be an “asset for the people of St Helens”.

He added that the opening of the library is “not as far off as people might think”.

Once opened, St Helens Library will be one of a number of services which will be delivered from the World of Glass, with Adult Day Care successfully delivering services there since last year.