Glasgow City Council today (26 September) approved £2.5million in funding to relocate Parkhead Library from the existing the Grade B-listed building to the proposed East End Health and Social Care Partnership Hub (HSCP) building.
This funding comes from the Community Hub Fund, and will cover the increased capital cost of incorporating the library within the proposed new hub that the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) is preparing to design and build in Parkhead.
The opportunity to include additional council services that could be delivered from the new hub – at the former Parkhead Hospital and Health Centre site – that would house several different parts of their services, was explored by council officers.
A proposal to relocate the existing Parkhead Library to the new hub was then presented to the HSCP, with their Governance Board agreeing this would be a good strategic fit for the hub and that this proposal should form part of the New Project Request to be submitted for consideration.
The existing Parkhead Library building was completed in 1906, and is a key feature of Parkhead Cross, with the two-storey building with dome standing at the corner of Tollcross Road and Helenvale Street. This is one of the city’s Carnegie-funded libraries, and is well-used with almost 70,000 visits in 2018.
In addition to the adult and children’s library sections, Parkhead Library also hosts services from Clyde Gateway, Macmillan, Jobs and Business Glasgow, and Citizens Advice among others.
A number of advantages would be delivered by locating the library in the proposed hub, including offering the public a ‘one-stop shop’ for services from Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Life and the HSCP, with the opportunity for local people to benefit in health, productivity and wellbeing terms.
Issues around accessibility in the current building would also be addressed in the new hub, and placing the Hub Café in the new library would attract even more visitors and contribute both to its sustainability and increased engagement – particularly for those who rarely enter libraries – with its range of services.
The existing library building is one of a number of Grade B-listed buildings at or near Parkhead Cross, such as the adjacent ‘The Steamie’ and the nearby four-storey former Primary School (currently occupied by the HSCP). The relocation of the library would then offer to the opportunity to develop a Masterplan – incorporating these notable buildings – for the redevelopment and regeneration of Parkhead Cross, in discussion with local partners and stakeholders.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said: “Parkhead Library is a well-loved and well-used feature of the area’s community life, and the opportunity to move to a new building offers the chance to ensure that even more people use its services. Community Hubs such as the one proposed for Parkhead will allow local people to access the services they need in one location, with the benefits that this brings. Given the great quality and heritage of these buildings at or near Parkhead Cross, a Masterplan for the area will define how best they can be used for the local community.”