The library building located at Hall Grounds in Loftus will be demolished next year once the library service has been relocated to Duncan Place.
Planning permission was granted at Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council’s regulatory committee last week, meaning demolition will take place in autumn 2023.
The plan is to provide more car parking at the original Loftus Library site as a total of 66% of respondents during a consultation exercise acknowledged that a lack of car parking was one of the biggest issues affecting Loftus.
Loftus was awarded £5.8million as part of the Government’s Future High Streets Fund initiative in August 2021 after Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council submitted a bid to transform the area.
The Council is also provided match funding for this from the Welcome to Redcar and Cleveland and Indigenous Growth Funds, meaning around £11million will be invested in Loftus.
Now that planning permission has been granted for demolition, further planning permission will need to be granted to build the car park at Hall Grounds.
If approved, this will be built in early 2024 and will provide up to 30 new spaces for the High Street and the nearby marketplace customers and businesses and will complement the other existing car parks located at North Road and the recently opened Handale Car Park.
Duncan Place, where the library will be located, is currently being renovated and extended under the Future High Streets scheme.
Duncan Place will bring together several council services within one improved building with a small refreshment counter and revitalised spaces for youth and family activities including a community hall.
Cllr Chris Gallacher, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at the Council, said:
“One of the key aims in the regeneration of Loftus High Street was to create much-needed parking spaces for our residents and visitors. At the start of this process, an initial assessment showed that Loftus had a shortfall of at least 100 parking spaces which acts as a limitation to attract visitors.
“We have since plugged some of that gap with 30 new spaces at the recently opened Handale Car Park, and now we will seek permission to create up to 30 more at the original Loftus Library site.
“Our aim is to transform the area into modern market town for the future and with the delivery of each project we will be creating a more vibrant place for all who work, live and visit here.”
To find out more, please visit https://loftusmasterplan.co.uk/