Harlow Library: Close to a million invested in transforming site into hub of literacy and lifelong learning.

Education / Wed 29th Jun 2022 at 09:37am

On Monday 20 June the newly refurbished Harlow Library and relocated Adult Community Learning (ACL) centre opened its doors and welcomed residents for the first time. 

This new space will be a hive for literacy and learning. It will allow all Harlow residents the opportunity to develop a love of reading, improve their literacy and explore lifelong learning. 

Ensuring that everyone in Essex has the same opportunities is at the heart of Everyone’s Essex, the Essex County Council’s (ECC) plan for levelling up the county. 

The plan makes several commitments as to how this will be achieved, including ensuring all residents have access to excellent education, providing opportunities to develop skills and learning and striving to build strong community cohesion, all of which it is hoped will be achieved through this new site.

Almost £980,000 funding from the Government’s Getting Building Fund has been used to transform the library and relocate the ACL Harlow site to sit within it.

The refurbishment has included remodelling the previous space to provide a library, learning and skills centre and vibrant, new children’s library, complete with sensory equipment.

The building has also received several other enhancements including the replacement of windows, roof and skylights, a new heating and air-conditioning system, a new seating and refreshment area and improved wi-fi, as well as classrooms and computer suites to accommodate the relocation of ACL.

Residents can now sign up for courses with ACL Essex Harlow for a September enrolment. Courses include GCSE and foundation skills, employability courses, creative courses such as art and embroidery, language courses for both English speakers and speakers of other languages, and digital skills courses for all abilities.

To celebrate the libraries transformation and the relocation of ACL, residents are invited to attend an official opening and ‘Day of Fun’ on Saturday 2 July 2022 from 10am to 4pm. This will include Rhymetime for Under 5s, a storytelling performance with Livewire theatre company, creative and craft activities and ACL course information and activities. 

Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Community, Equality, Partnerships and Performance, Cllr Louise McKinlay said: “As part of our four year library plan, we committed to protecting and enhancing the library offer in Essex, so I am delighted to see the refurbished site open, with residents already enjoying the new and updated facilities.

“It is a really vibrant location, full of opportunities for residents to develop a love of reading, improve literacy and explore lifelong learning, with the addition of the Harlow ACL centre. “ 

Cabinet Member for Education Excellence, Lifelong Learning and Employability, Cllr Tony Ball said: “It is great news that residents of Harlow can now experience all that the newly refurbished Harlow Library and ACL centre has to offer.

“The library will be a hub of literacy and learning. As well as the opportunity to access a whole range of library services, the new site provides a central, and easily accessed location for residents to take full advantage of our Adult Community Learning offer which can now be conveniently found within the library.

“I would encourage residents to take a look at what Adult Community learning can offer. Whether you’re looking to improve employability skills, sign up for a new hobby, gain support for mental health or even learn a new language, the opportunities are endless.”

To discover more about Harlow Library, including how to sign up for a library card, visit https://libraries.essex.gov.uk/library-locations-and-opening-times/harlow-library/

ACL Essex Harlow will reopen at Harlow Library in September 2022, and courses are now enrolling. To discover more, visit www.aclessex.com

For more information about the celebration event on 2nd July, please visit www.aclessex.com/harlow-launch

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