A NEW library building in Narberth is set to be completed next month.

The new building, at the former Narberth CP school site, is expected to be handed over to Pembrokeshire County Council by local developers Andrew Rees and Charles Salmon – of Narberth Old School Developments – early June.

Once it is handed over, the library will be fitted out ahead of its scheduled opening in early 2024.

The work will be funded by a combined Welsh Government Capital Transformation Grant of £149,997 secured by the library service and £30,000 Section 106 funding.

“It’s great news that Welsh Government are once again investing in Narberth,” said Cllr Rhys Sinnett, cabinet member for residents’ services.

“The Capital Transformation grant will allow us to not only provide a modern, welcoming library but also introduce new technologies which will significantly extend the opening hours.

“I am delighted to see that the hard work of the partnership put together to bring this project to life is finally being recognised and rewarded with this funding.”

The library will continue to be run by a three-way partnership of Pembrokeshire’s Library Service, the Friends of Narberth Library and Narberth Town Council.

Mr Salmon said they were pleased to be involved in the library development, adding that the building has been provided free of charge and on a peppercorn rent for the next 125 years. 

Chairman of the Friends of Narberth Library, Cllr Marc Tierney, said: “As a voluntary organisation, the Friends of Narberth Library has worked hard to support Pembrokeshire County Council in keeping the St James Street library open and part of the community over the last seven years. 

“The new building just off the Towns Moor Car Park brings the library into the heart of the town, easily accessed by local buses and by car and in a location that for many is the start of their journey in discovering what Narberth has to offer. 

“I’m looking forward to the Friends of Narberth Library exploring new opportunities to collaborate with others so that the library becomes a renewed focal point and a real community asset that confirms Narberth as a great place to live, work and visit in Pembrokeshire.”  

Narberth mayor, Cllr Elizabeth Rogers, said: “It will be a huge benefit to the town and the surrounding area to have a new modern library on a car park which creates easy accessibility.

“This is something the town has campaigned for, for a long and hard time and it’s wonderful that it is now within our reach.

“The many hours that have been given by many behind the scenes is amazing but that is what Narberth does. I thank everyone involved.”

At the moment, Narberth Library is temporarily situated at the Lee Davies Day Centre due to essential building repairs taking place at its home in St James Street - but it is hoped it will re-open at St James Street in June.

More information, including current opening hours, can be found out: pembrokeshire.gov.uk.