Hillingdon Council's Cabinet agrees Uxbridge Library relocation plans

Thursday 15 February, 2024: The recommendation to relocate Uxbridge Library to the borough's Civic Centre was approved by Hillingdon Council's Cabinet tonight (Thursday 15 February) subject to planning approval being granted.

CGI image of how the relocated Uxbridge Library reception/front desk would look
The report presented to Cabinet advised that the Borough Solicitor was of the opinion that the current building is not compliant with equalities or health and safety at work legislation. It is spaced across six floors and because there are no fire evacuation lifts it can be particularly difficult for people with disabilities to safely evacuate. It also notes that significant capital investment would be required to improve the energy efficiency of the building and bring it up to modern standards.  

Hillingdon Council has an enviable record of library investment, and whilst many local authorities have closed their facilities the council is committed to retaining 16 sites across the borough, further investing in buildings and facilities to ensure they are of the highest quality, maximum efficiency and continue to meet residents' requirements now and into the future.  

The relocation would ensure the library continues to occupy a prominent position in Uxbridge (only 300 metres away from the existing site) and improve accessibility by sharing the Civic Centre's main entrance, offering step-free access to a new one-floor library space. There is also a bus stop opposite making it convenient to get to by public transport.    

The new facility would be within easy reach of other council services, such as Learn Hillingdon Adult Community Education and Uxbridge Family Hub, as well as the range of other services available on-site, ensuring all the services that matter most to residents are easily accessible in one building. Work is already underway on renovating the Civic Centre as part of plans to revitalise the town centre and southern end of the High Street.   

The new enhanced Uxbridge Library would remain the borough's largest library and offer facilities not currently provided in its existing building, such as study booths, dedicated laptop/device charging bars, hireable meeting room space and a dedicated space for the popular Tovertafel (interactive tabletop projection) facility.   

The plans also include space for exhibitions and events, a learning centre, dedicated children's library, a large book collection and use of the wider Civic Centre space for events and activities.  

The relocated library is expected to save the council £412,000 per year from business rates, utilities, cleaning and staffing costs, delivering better value for money to residents. It will also help to deliver the council's climate change pledge as the new library would save 165 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. The council has recently received government funding to decarbonise the Civic Centre whereas decarbonisation of the current library building, which also has a high carbon footprint, is estimated to cost a minimum of £1.6 million and may not even be viable as there isn't the space to accommodate the size of air source heat pump it would require.  

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said: "We're committed to creating safe and strong communities, thriving healthy households and a green and sustainable borough while continuing to ensure maximum efficiency in the use of council buildings and resources, delivering the very best value when using taxpayers' money.   

"The current Uxbridge Library building is no longer fit for purpose; if the proposal to relocate it had not been made now, one would have needed to be produced to protect the safety of all library users and to comply with the council's legal obligations sometime in the near future. We will not shy away from making difficult decisions when they are in the best interests of all our communities.  

"The new library will deliver a more modern, enhanced, accessible library, with a reduced environmental impact and running cost, housed alongside a wealth of other services to help us further build on our ambition to deliver more joined up public services to meet our residents' needs."   

For more information and updates on the relocation of the library, visit www.hillingdon.gov.uk/uxbridge-library-relocation.


Page last updated: 15 Feb 2024