New chapter for flood-hit library as it prepares to fully reopen

Hebden Bridge Library.
Hebden Bridge Library.

A library devastated by the Boxing Day floods to the tune of £100,000 is preparing to fully open its doors again at the end of the month.

Hebden Bridge Library, Cheetham Street, was devastated by the disaster, leaving around 5,000 books, DVDs and CDs ruined.

Shelving, furniture, the counter and the self-service machine were also damaged beyond repair and the children’s area was completely destroyed.

Whilst the library has remained open, the entire ground floor has been out of action. The first floor was expanded to offer a full library service from January, but some areas of stock were limited due to the space available.

The ground floor of the library will now reopen with new flood resilience measures and further flood alleviation built into the cellar and courtyard to future-proof the library.

Councillor Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods and communities, said: “It’s great news that Hebden Bridge Library is getting back on its feet after the dreadful flooding at the end of last year.

“The new ground floor layout will involve new shelving and other furniture to be moved in to the library. For this to be installed it will be necessary for the building to close to the public on Wednesday, September 28.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but library facilities nearby at Mytholmroyd and Todmorden are open as usual.

“The new facility will not only have improved facilities for customers, but has also been designed with flood resilient counter and other flood alleviation measures to protect the library in future.”

The new ground floor layout is more open plan with a small meeting room removed to improve customer flow around the building. There will also be a new teenage section, with an improved layout, display areas and a new television with gaming facilities.

From October, there will be new self-service options for customers and the Busy Babies sessions on Monday mornings, which had temporarily been located at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, will return to the library.

The library will be closed on Wednesday, September 28, in addition to the library’s usual closure on Tuesdays, to allow final work on the ground floor to take place.

Customers can use any other Calderdale library for both book and DVD issue and return, the nearest of which are Mytholmroyd and Todmorden libraries.

The library will reopen fully on Thursday, September 29.