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New-look £2.5 million Gravesend Library set to re-open

PUBLISHED: 09:33 04 August 2011

Gravesend Llibrary

Gravesend Llibrary

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»A modern £2.5million refurbished library built into the 106-year-old Carnegie Building is set to reopen 16 months after construction began.

Gravesend Library in Windmill Street has undergone a huge renovation, introducing new features such as a community space, an annexe replacing the former toy shop attached to the Edwardian library, and a courtyard garden.

The library will also host a larger collection of local history material, an improved collection of books and other materials, as well as new computers and IT facilities.

Kent County Council’s member for communities, Mike Hill said: “The reopening of the new-look Gravesend Library is an exciting occasion for the town.

“It will offer so much and is an excellent example of how libraries are being modernised for the future.”

During construction a 300-year-old brandy bottle and small porcelain cup were discovered by workmen in the Carnegie Building, named after the millionaire who first funded it in 1904.

Temporary site

Christoph Bull, district manager of Gravesham and Dartford libraries, said: “Certainly there would have been no drink allowed on the site (an almshouse at the time) so we think it was probably someone’s secret tipple that they had to quickly stow away during an inspection.”

Following the closure last April the library service has operated from a temporary site in St George’s Centre, off new Road.

This will close at 5pm on Saturday and the new library will open to the public on Tuesday, August 23, with The Library Lion expected to be out in the town centre encouraging visitors to check out the new facilities.

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