£2.5m library approved for Billingham

A multi-million pound library and customer service centre is to be built in a Teesside town.

Stockton Council has allocated cash for the £2.5m project in Billingham.

It said it would be modelled on similar centres in Thornaby and Stockton, which had led to a rise in the number of users.

It plans to develop the complex on the former Billingham Art Gallery and council offices site and is looking at either refurbishment or a new building.

The council said it still hoped to work with the NHS to include a health element in the plans.

Construction is due to start in 2013.

It is the latest in a number of improvement projects in the town including the refurbishment of the town's Forum leisure complex.

Work is also about to start on a £2.35m improvement scheme for the town centre including new seating, lighting and repaving.

Stockton Council cabinet member for regeneration and transport Mike Smith said: "The service centres have been hugely successful and popular elsewhere in the borough and also help attract many people to go into the town centres."

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