Barnsley central library to be demolished

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Plans to demolish a library to make way for a £17m sixth form college have been approved by council bosses.

Barnsley Central Library will be demolished and the service relocated as part of regeneration plans for the town centre.

More than 13,000 campaigners signed petitions against Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council's proposals to flatten the Shambles Street library.

But cabinet members approved the plans on Wednesday.

'More appropriate places'

Sir Stephen Houghton, leader of the council, said library services will still be available when they are moved temporarily to Wellington Street.

He added: "It's a huge investment in the town without any significant loss of services for any of our users. It's an opportunity that's too good to miss."

Protestors said there were more appropriate places to build a new college than the current library site.

Dave Gibson, from the Hands off Barnsley Library group, said: "The idea for a new sixth form is college is great, but there were a number of sites it could have gone and I don't think you regenerate things by pulling down the best of the old."

Barnsley College will pay for their new site with a £5.3m government grant and the scheme should be finished by the end of 2015.

The council has also made a "firm commitment" to building a new library in the town centre in the next two to three years.

The cabinet's decision will be discussed at a full council meeting on 6 February.

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