Gloucester County Council Press Release – 14 March 2022
Gloucestershire Libraries have been awarded £250,000 to transform a building in Cheltenham into a digital learning and skills hub for the whole community
The building in Oakley will offer the latest digital technology for all ages, with free facilities, training and support to help with literacy and learning skills.
The award has been given by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports through its Libraries Improvement Fund (LIF), delivered by Arts Council England.
The LIF is helping transform library services in England by helping them upgrade their buildings and digital infrastructure so they can respond to the changing ways people use them.
The Oakley facility will be a resource for the whole community, but with emphasis on various groups including local schools and students, early years children and isolated adults from local sheltered accommodation.
An ‘immersive reality’ room will provide a 3D, interactive digital experience where images are projected around the walls, ranging from children’s books to journeys into space, helping to engage children and other users in learning through interaction.
The facility will also offer free Wi-Fi and public access to PCs.
Work is due to start in April 2022, with a proposed completion date of spring 2023, and there will be consultation with the local community to find out how they would like to see it developed.
Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries, said: “It’s fantastic news that our aspirations for the community of Oakley have been acknowledged by Arts Council England through this successful bid and we’re very grateful for their support. It will enable us to create an exciting new facility offering the latest digital technology to help with skills and learning.
“I’m sure it will be an invaluable asset for the whole community and I look forward to seeing it take shape and hearing from local people about how they would like to see it developed.”
- Image supplied by Roberts Limbrick Architects is a visual representation only.