Surrey County Council plans to redevelop Caterham Hill Library into a new vibrant community space, including an exciting and dynamic library, a Family Centre as well as accommodation for care leavers.
This innovative transformation is part of the Council’s wider commitment to work closely with residents to drive positive change in their communities.
A report to Cabinet, published today, is due to be discussed at the next virtual meeting on Tuesday 27th October.
The £5.6m redevelopment will bring services closer to residents and is an integral part of the council’s mission to empower local communities across Surrey.
To understand how the library can best meet the wider needs of the Caterham community, Surrey County Council will work closely with residents, staff, partners and local stakeholders through a process of co-design.
This will ensure that the community is closely involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of what goes on in their local library provision and have a greater say in the things that matter most to them locally.
The project will deliver a modern library and a well-designed, sustainable building for a range of services, anchoring the library as the heart of the community.
To help children in Surrey to reach their potential, the addition of a Family Centre will offer targeted services for children aged 0 to 11, who are most in need.
The Family Centre will also act as a hub for partner agencies and community organisations to offer services such as health visiting, breast feeding advice and support for new parents, making services more accessible and alleviating pressures on families.
The redevelopment will also address the urgent need for suitable quality care leavers’ accommodation within Surrey. Currently, most young people are placed outside of the county making it more difficult for staff to support them and for young people to have continued links with their family, community and education.
As the first scheme in a wider programme to meet the need across the county, this project will provide flexible accommodation to support young people with a range of needs and levels of independence.
Mark Nuti, Deputy Cabinet Member for the Leader said: “This is an exciting start to our mission to shape a new, fit for purpose library service in Surrey that sits at the heart of communities. The redevelopment of Caterham Hill Library presents a great opportunity for collaboration and we are looking forward to engaging with the local community to co-design a space that will make a positive difference to residents and make Caterham an even better place to live.”
Mary Lewis, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People & Families said: “The new care leavers’ accommodation will provide an essential service for vulnerable young people. By providing them with a safe and stable home, we can help them get the best start to building their lives after care and enable them to establish themselves within the community.”
The Caterham scheme will be funded from Surrey County Council’s Capital programme.
If Cabinet approves the business case for redevelopment, the co-design process with the local community could start as early as November, while construction works are expected to begin in the Summer of next year and to be completed in April 2022.
To ensure that residents can continue using services, a temporary library facility will be put in place during the construction period.