Visitor numbers up for Hove Library

Over 3,000 more people visited Hove Library in the months following a refurbishment and the introduction of a new café. 

Visitor numbers were up to 35,919 in November and December, nearly 10% higher than the equivalent months in 2017.

Café Domenica, run by a local charity who work with young adults with learning disabilities, opened on the ground floor in October, following a major refurbishment of the library in the summer. 

Investing for the future of Hove Library

Hove Library is a much loved historic building, but the age and design of the building makes it expensive to run. 

Funding from central government is reducing each year and all council services, including libraries, need to change how they deliver services to save money.

To continue providing a modern library service that the public use and love from Hove Library’s building, we needed to find new ways of generating income to help cover the costs.

In early 2017, we held a public exhibition to gauge support for a number of potential new public and commercial spaces in Hove Library, and the majority of respondents were positive about the proposals.

A bright new start

The first stage in developing these new areas was setting up a new study space for British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) on the first floor in spring 2017. 

In summer last year, internal refurbishment and alterations were made to free up the basement to accommodate a nursery and provide space for a community café on the ground floor.

The work also involved installing new ICT equipment and extra shelving to replace that lost elsewhere. The amount of shelving space for books and other stock in the library remains as it was before the refurbishment. 

The finishing touch to the refurbishment was the addition of a fantastic mural in the children’s section by illustrator and author Chris Riddell.

The total cost to the council of the refurbishment work was £87,958.

Working with BIMM, Café Domenica and Hove Village Day Nursery, brings a rental income of £38,500 per year, which goes towards maintaining a sustainable library service.

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