Gloucestershire Libraries have been awarded £250,000 to transform a building in Cheltenham into a digital learning and skills center for the whole community.
Designed by Gloucester-based Roberts Limbrick Architects, the Oakley building will offer the latest digital technology for all ages, with free facilities, training and support to help with literacy and learning skills.
The prize was awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through its Library Improvement Fund (LIF), delivered by Arts Council England.
LIF is helping to transform library services in England by helping them upgrade their buildings and digital infrastructure so they can respond to changes in the way people use them.
The Oakley facility will be a resource for the whole community, but with a focus on diverse groups, including local schools and students, early childhood children and isolated adults in local sheltered accommodation.
An “immersive reality” room will provide an interactive 3D digital experience where images are projected onto the walls, ranging from children’s books to space travel, helping to engage children and other users in learning through the arts. ‘interaction.
The facility will also offer free Wi-Fi and public computer access.
Work is due to start in April 2022, with a proposed completion date of spring 2023, and there will be consultation with the local community on how they would like to see it develop.
Cllr Dave Norman, Cabinet Member for Librariessaid: “It is great news that our aspirations for the Oakley community have been recognized by the Arts Council of England through this successful application and we are very grateful for their support. This will enable us to create a exciting new facility offering the latest in digital technology to help build skills and learn.
“I’m sure it will be an invaluable asset to the whole community and I can’t wait to see it take shape and hear from locals telling us how they would like to see it develop.”