A MUCH improved Devizes Library complete with a new community hub is open after £330,000 was spent revamping the building and services.

Wiltshire Council's library portfolio holder Darren Henry and cabinet member for campuses and hubs John Thomson are delighted with the result which brings together office services from Snuff Street and safeguards the library.

Head of libraries Joan Davies said: "Bringing all the services we used to have in Snuff Street to the library really makes sense. The staff can share duties where necessary and it means the library can be open for much longer hours.

"Our books are now on racks with castors which means a large space can be created for community use and we also have two meeting rooms that can be hired."

The changes have also improved an upstairs area where there are now more computer terminals that are free to use and there are several comfy sitting areas.

Cllr Henry said: "This is a wonderful outcome and makes the library much more sustainable."

Among the first to enjoy the new library was four-year-old Jake who was visiting to take out a new selection of books but found time to appreciate the new train that is now in the children's area.

A council spokesman said: "The hub is a great space for the Devizes community to meet to host activities or events or meetings, with flexible space and rooms available.

"On the ground floor, the White Horse Room can accommodate up to 14 and there is access to a kitchen; while the flexible library space with movable shelving can accommodate around 100 people. On the first floor the Crammer Room, which is also accessible by lift, accommodates up to eight people."

A new open access system will be launched later in the summer to enable people to access the building and its services and facilities outside of the normal opening hours.

Cllr Thomson said: "The investment into this community hub has provided a real asset for the Devizes community area. People can now access local services and facilities in one place as well as having a place to meet and to host events and activities.

“The first community hub in Calne has been a huge success and is used by 39 groups, which book space each week. The installation of the Open+ system in Calne has resulted in a 37.5per cent increase in the opening hours and access to the library.

“We expect to see an increase in user and visitor numbers in the new Devizes hub and we are aware that community space is already being booked following the refurbishment. We expect this new hub to be as successful as Calne.”

The council’s customer services team is now based at the hub and can deal with service queries, from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

The registrations service is also available at the hub on Monday and Wednesday, 9.30am-3.30pm, and Friday, 9.30am-12.30pm.

To book space in the hub email Graeme.Morrison@wiltshire.gov.uk.