New Worthing Library community hub celebrates successful first year

In the first year of the new hub at Worthing Library, nearly 3,500 customers have been served each week and visits are growing week on week.

The library had been shut for nine months for a major refurbishment to make it a hub for West Sussex County Council services. The project to create represented a £2.8million investment to create a state-of-the-art facility, modernising the main library and creating new, custom-designed spaces to house registration, a children and family centre and young people’s services.

Since the new-look library reopened on June 22, 2021, it has seen almost 3,000 people join, around 2,027 new babies registered, more than 1,600 couples visiting the registrars to give notice of their intent to marry and more than 71 weddings in the ceremony room.

Lyndsey Nichols, Worthing Library manager, said: “Libraries worked hard throughout the pandemic, supporting the local community with book deliveries, online events and digital support to connect them with loved ones. The team at Worthing managed all of this as well as helping to set up and kit out the beautifully-refurbished library.

"Worthing Library is a busy community building, right in the town centre, and we have so many facilities and events on offer for families, adults, business owners, remote workers, students and book lovers. We feel privileged to have found an additional 3,000 new library members since last July to enjoy all of this with us but we always love to see a new face, so to anyone who hasn’t been to visit yet, we invite you to come along and discover all the things on offer for yourself.”

The library, in Richmond Road, Worthing, had not been changed since it was originally built in 1975, though the services housed in the building had expanded.

Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for community support, said: “Worthing Library was already a hub for the local community before its refurbishment but since reopening it really has become a central location for residents in and around Worthing.

“It is great to see people using the library for its original purpose but also having people come into the library for other services we now have available, such as new mums and dads bringing their babies in to see the health visitors that now use the library building, or even people just popping in to use the free internet and WiFi whilst soaking up the sun on the tables located next to the floor to ceiling windows on the ground floor.

“The increasing use of Worthing Library week on week proves just how important it is to invest in our community buildings and we can’t wait to see how Worthing Library continues to grow, prosper and support residents in the coming years.”

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