Pembrokeshire County Council has been awarded £300,000 towards redeveloping its flagship library in Haverfordwest.

The County Library is currently closed awaiting the start of a massive rebuilding project, which aims to transform the building into a more modern and user-friendly facility.

The £300,000 grant from the Welsh Government will go towards redeveloping facilities within the new building including refurbishment, the installation of self service technology, the creation of a healthy hub and a new children’s play and learning area.

“This is great news. As the most strategically important library in the County this improvement work is critical,” said Councillor Elwyn Morse, Cabinet Member for Culture.

“The old library building was tired and badly in need of an overhaul.

"Improving the site and making it work better will improve the whole service for the people of Pembrokeshire and its visitors,” he said.

The County Library in Dew Street recently closed its doors in preparation for major redevelopment work, which is due to start later this year.

The work is expected to be completed in late 2014 and will include the demolition of the existing building’s second floor.

The redeveloped building aims to provide all public library services on the ground floor, while the first floor will be home to Learning Pembrokeshire - Haverfordwest’s adult learning arm - as well as a new vending machine coffee bar for customers.

“This is a highly ambitious project, which will fundamentally change the structure and use of the building; bringing together the library, community learning and youth services on to one site,” said Mike Cavanagh, Head of Cultural Services.

“This very welcome grant money will help us transform the building into a cultural and learning hub at the heart of the community of Haverfordwest and beyond.”

Haverfordwest’s public lending library service is temporarily operating from the youth wing of the Community Learning Centre located off the car park at the rear of the library.

The £300,000 Welsh Government grant was the largest grant award in the library capital grant scheme, representing close to a third of this year’s total grant budget.