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Plans to relocate Twyford Library turn an important page

Plans to relocate Twyford Library turn an important page

01 August 2022
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Proposals to relocate Twyford Library from its existing site to a new home turned an important page last week (28 July) when the Council’s executive voted to complete the lease for the Old Polehampton Boys school building and allocate an additional £330,000 towards the works.


This funding is on top of the £720,000 already put aside for the project and reflects the rising cost of materials nationally and an ongoing desire to make the new Library as energy efficient as possible. The additional funding will come from Section 106 (S106) contributions, paid by developers to help deliver infrastructure projects across the borough and support local growth.


“We’re committed to making sure the people of Twyford have fantastic facilities” said Cllr Clive Jones, newly appointed leader of the council and executive member for business and economic development. “Moving to this site helps us create a permanent home for the library replacing the aging temporary building, along with other benefits such as access to public toilets. It’s also an opportunity to bring this important listed building, at the heart of the village, back into use, giving it a long-term future as a community space.


“The past few years, with covid and now the rising costs of living and financial instability have put so much pressure on local people. Being able to give them facilities like this, where they can access all the great things our library service offers, as well as gather and feel part of the community is incredibly important. With everything from access to computers, regular events, books and clubs, children’s activities and the opportunity to borrow books and other resources for free, there will be something for everybody to enjoy.”


The Old Polehampton Boys School is a Grade 2 listed building in Polehampton Close. It is owned by the Polehampton Trust, a local charity who seek to support residents in need as well as children’s educational development in the Twyford area.


The Council will work in partnership with the Trust, to lease the building for 99 years at a peppercorn rent, ensuring it can be brought back into use and remain available to local residents for generations to come.


Andrew Cardy, chair of the Polehampton Trust, said: “The Trustees of The Polehampton Charity are absolutely delighted that Wokingham Borough Council have secured funds for this long awaited and much needed Library project. Many people in the village have campaigned over the past 20 years to relocate the library and 10 years ago David Turner suggested the Old Boys School. The Old Boys School was built to educate boys from the village with money left by Edward Polehampton.  This lovely historical listed building in the heart of our wonderful village will now be transformed into a fabulous facility for the wider community.  


“The Polehampton Charity is 300 years old this year and this Library is a fitting reminder of the legacy that Edward Polehampton left the village. The Trustees would like to thank past and present administrations at Wokingham Borough Council, everyone who has been involved and especially David Turner and those who have campaigned so hard for so long.”


With approvals in place the council will proceed with entering into the lease with the Polehampton Trust so the project can progress. Keep an eye out for more information about this exciting project later this year.

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