WORK has started on a new library to serve Haxby and Wiggington.

The venue is due to open in the autumn at the Oaken Grove Community Centre in Reid Park.

It will replace the old library in Haxby which closed in 2016 on public safety grounds.

The community centre closed on May 28 for the work to take place.

The City of York Council, Explore Libraries, and the Haxby and Wiggington Youth and Community Association are working together to deliver the library.

The library is part of a £7.7m council initiative that will also create a new £5m library learning centre in Clifton and also improve Acomb library.

When complete this autumn, the new Haxby and Wiggington library will open six days a week and feature a new reading café at the front.

There will also be a new extension to the side of the community centre for the library, with community rooms for hire at the rear.

A new central area will feature improved storage space for pushchairs and buggies; there will be new shelving plus nooks and crannies for children’s books, PCs for residents; a new kitchen to support the café; improved public toilets; and an outdoor terrace for relaxation.

The building will also feature enhanced insulation, new double-glazed windows and lED lighting to improve its appearance and energy efficiency.

In the meantime, library services in the area can be obtained from a pop-up library every Friday afternoon from 2pm-5pm in Wiggington Recreation Hall. There are also extra staffed hours at the nearest Explore library at New Earswick Folk Hall.

Cllr Darryl Smalley, the council’s Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communitiess, has welcomed the library as returning a public library back into the heart of the Haxby and Wiggington community, noting recent consultation gave it 90 per cent public support.

Cllr Smalley said: “This initiative is an exciting collaboration, investing in a valued community building to benefit local residents and community groups.

“I hope that the new facilities will be enjoyed by generations to come, supporting residents of all ages to make connections with their local community and develop a love of lifelong learning.”

Sarah Garbacz, Chief Operating Officer for Explore, has praised the support and hard work of the trustees of Haxby & Wiggington Youth and Community Association for partnering with the council to develop the library.

She added: “We can’t wait to open the doors and to get back to being that space that brings the community together”

The Haxby &Wigginton Youth and Community Association has praised the council and Explore for their hard work in “planning for this exciting new phase in the life of the Oaken Grove Community Centre.”

A spokesperson added: “We’re all looking forward to offering the enhanced facilities to our young people and community groups, as well as to the future long term partnership with Explore.”

Haxby and Wiggington ward councillor Andrew Hollyer added: "A new library for Haxby and Wigginton is one of our key priorities for the area. This once-in-a-generation investment builds on our belief that libraries are key in supporting strong local communities and resident wellbeing.

“I’m proud that at a time when library services across the country are being cut, this administration is investing to produce world-class facilities that will make a real difference in our community.

“Speaking with local residents, I know how important the local library is for the area so it’s exciting to see the plans become reality as work starts on the site.”