An announcement from Kent Libraries that a limited service will be reopening in Grace Hill in early Autumn has been cautiously welcomed by Lib Dem Group Leader Tim Prater, The announcement said:
While Folkestone Library remains temporarily closed, further library provision will soon be available in Folkestone town centre at the Shepway Youth Hub (also known as the Folkestone and Hythe Youth Hub) on Grace Hill, CT20 1HA
This will provide the following library services:
We recognise how valuable the Local History Collection is to the community and researchers and that it’s not currently possible to access this material anywhere else. While it’s not practical to relocate the full collection, as much as possible will be made available.
It is expected that this further temporary library provision will open in early autumn this year. A specific opening date and further information on the service will be announced soon.
Kent County Council acknowledge the concerns about the continued closure of Folkestone Library, and continues to explore all longer term options to see a full town centre library provision restored.
Find more information about our services at kent.gov.uk/libraries
"Although it's good to see a limited service return, it is certainly a very limited service. It's hardly a full library.
"We're determined to secure two goals:
- the reopening of a full library service worth its name in central Folkestone;
- the long term retention of the Grace Hill building as a community facility.
"While we are happy to look at new locations for a central Folkestone library, we absolutely will not let Kent County Council off the hook for their years of neglect of Grace Hill or allow them to dispose of a community asset.
"That building belongs to Folkestone. Whatever, and wherever, the new central Folkestone library provision, they cannot be allowed to simply sell off Grace Hill and walk away."