HEREFORDSHIRE Council has submitted plans to refurbish the library in Hereford.

Leading councillors agreed last year to spend up to £230,000 on developing the mezzanine floor at the Hereford Library, Museum and Art Gallery on Broad Street.

The now published proposals for the grade II listed building include work to the existing first floor room to allow for a ‘multifunctional flexible library’.

The space will be lettable with multi agency office accommodation and kitchenette.

The scheme includes widening the existing doorway and creating an extra opening in the wall between the room and the mezzanine.

A feature will be made out of the beams and stone corbels and the gothic window will be uncovered and restored.

Workers will also repair the lath and plaster soffit and reinstate damaged sections.

“The works are intended to cause little to no impact to the existing building fabric with the exception of the structural works forming and enlarging the two door openings through the solid partition wall,” the design and access statement reads.

“Works then focus on the formation of glazed partitions and screens to allow as much natural light as possible to be utilised.”

The proposals will ensure the library is accessible to all.

“The design has been considered ensuring the building is accessible and useable to persons of all mobilities and impairments regardless of whether the individuals will occupy the building or simply visit.”

Mark Ferrero, chairman of Joint Action for Herefordshire Libraries, welcomed the plans but lamented the historic underspend on services.

He said: “We must applaud all investment in public libraries but this investment does nothing to address the underspend towards running costs and staff.

“The new council has made positive noises about culture and in particular library services but we are yet to see any key decisions.”

He also said the group would be having a meeting with commissioning, procurement and assets cabinet member Gemma Davies and service chiefs.