A new chapter at Weymouth Library is opening as the site undergoes a £550,000 refurbishment that will see other services based there.

Dorset Council is working with partners and other agencies to bring together a range of services and teams into one shared building, as a ‘library and learning centre’.

The library building in Great George Street in the town centre is being adapted to offer space for:

* The town’s library

* Skills & Learning – the

local Adult Learning provider which offers a variety of high quality courses and learning opportunities to the community and training opportunities to local employers

* Community Resource Team (mental health) – part of Weymouth & Portland Community Mental Health Team involved in a range of social, vocational and educational activities to aid recovery

* Citizens Advice – providing free, confidential and

independent advice to help people overcome their problems

Dorset Council says work is progressing well and areas on the first floor are complete. Some of the new spaces are being used to temporarily house other parts of the library while works continue throughout the rest of the building. The Adult Skills and Learning team will be moving in to new classrooms ready for September.

Citizen’s Advice has moved into the main building and have a presence on the main reception desk. More areas will be dedicated to this service once ground floor works are complete.

The next phase of works will see the creation of several small meeting/interview rooms, a new helpdesk, and an all-new children’s zone. A dedicated section for young people will include a relaxed environment for study and reading.

Some changes are being made to schedules in order to cause minimal disruption. During the next phase, the children’s zone will be closed from Monday, April 29, reopening on Thursday, May 9.A limited selection of children’s books will be available during this time, but Rhyme Time sessions will be cancelled. There will also be a small reduction in the stock of general books, but the more popular titles will remain.

Over the next three months, new furniture, carpeting and decoration will put the finishing touches to the spaces creating a ‘more vibrant and exciting feel to the library, while at the same time keeping a calming, safe space for everyone to enjoy and learn in.’

It is said the benefits of this project will provide easier access to services as they are based in one building, at a central location with good public transport links.