Library starts fresh chapter as 'flagship' of new development

Published on: 04 Nov 2014

Keynsham’s new town centre is finally opening its doors to its first tenants and given the community their first look inside.

And among the first to be settling in at Market Walk were the town’s library team, who packed up shelves and shelves of books to move around the corner and unpack them again in their new base.

With books and library services spread over two floors, it’s certainly a world away from their temporary accommodation at Riverside – and from the libraries before that.

One of the building’s new display windows houses photos from the library’s previous incarnations at various locations in the town, alongside the 1960s time capsule dug up from under the old town hall and – even further back – Roman artefacts uncovered from the Somerdale site.

Proving a big hit with visitors, according to senior customer service officer Lorraine Corbishley, is the glass floor under which the town’s Roman mosaic is displayed for all to examine.

She said: “It’s a vast improvement on what we had before. I like the fact that it’s light and airy, the mosaic floor is proving a great success with customers as are the artefacts on display. Upstairs there is a nice quiet area which has a really nice atmosphere.

“Children have certainly taken it to heart with the big coloured chairs and we are hoping to provide more Baby Bounce and Rhyme classes and storytime sessions if we can get volunteers. We have lots of ideas for the future.”

The team are now working alongside staff from the council’s One-Stop Shop service as well as representatives from a range of organisations, including Curo, Sirona, Care and Repair, the Citizens Advice Bureau and more.

And with so many services under one roof, another welcome addition has been the new cafe run by Bath Bakery offering a range of sandwiches, cakes and hot drinks.

The chain already has a shop and cafe opposite in Temple Street and will also be running the staff canteen at Market
Walk, creating five to six new jobs in total.

Managing director Mark Slevin said he was delighted to be part of the new development and added:  “I believe passionately in providing local products to the local community and employing local people.

“With two existing shops, and now two new shops, Keynsham is very much a centre of activity for us.”

Another new service for the town is a register office, which will operate from the One-Stop Shop on Mondays and Tuesdays.

The library will be open during the Winter Festival on Friday, November 28, with entertainment and Lorraine Corbishley says she hopes people who haven’t yet visited will come and take a look.

“It’s lovely being at the top end of the civic centre, and not tucked away in the corner. We feel we are the flagship for the centre and I hope the community will consider it theirs and get involved.”

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