During February/March 2018 the council held a public engagement on the relocation of the Marylebone Library in Seymour Leisure Centre. During May/June 2018, swimming pool users at Seymour Leisure Centre proposed reopening the large swimming pool currently under the sports hall at the centre. The outcome of this response halted the development of the library.
Since the summer of 2018 meetings have been held with senior colleagues in the council and Sport England with a view to secure funding, and with Historic England to reassure our utmost respect to making design changes to the Grade II Listed Building that will meet with their approval.
In November 2019 the project team held its third meeting with stakeholder group representatives holding interests on behalf of residents, leisure centre and pool users, library users, and parents. They were presented with revised proposed designs and potential funding options which were well received by the group. At the November meeting, the council proposed timeline of when the Strategic Outline Business Case was to be presented with preferred options to the council prior to completing a detailed Outline Business Case in spring 2020. As a result of COVID-19 and the continued impact of the pandemic, engagement meetings had to be postponed.
The refurbishment of the leisure centre and the new library requires significant capital investment, the council has to make sure that all capital projects will meet the demands of how services will be used in the future. Therefore, along with other council capital works, the project will be submitted to cabinet and the council for consideration in March 2021 as part of the budget setting process.
We understand that this news will be frustrating for some residents. This year has brought significant change to our services, in particular our leisure centres, with long periods of mandated closures, changes in demand and increased restrictions that have presented both operational and financial challenges. Our most immediate priority has been the reopening of the leisure centres and libraries following the national lockdowns, and a range of priority work to ensure adherence to government safety and access guidelines to keep the community safe.
The council is committed to delivering high-quality community spaces and services. We recognise that temporary provisions, such as the present Marylebone library, require long term solutions and we remain committed to delivering those. This project remains a priority, and we will keep you updated on further developments.
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If you have a question related to the design and planning aspects of the new Marylebone Library and would like to contact us via email, one of our team will aim to reply within 48 hours (weekdays) firstname.lastname@example.org.