No opening date for library charity space

5:21pm Thursday 24th January 2013

By Joe Curtis

Work to transform a library into a charity hub has still not started nearly a year after councillors decided to take action to help voluntary sector organisations find office space.

South Chingford Library was closed in December 2011 and in March Waltham Forest Council agreed to turn it into a workspace for charities needing a base in the borough.

But the voluntary sector groups on a waiting list for space are still without a place to work.

The council explained it is still in the tendering process to determine which company will undertake the necessary transformation work.

The library needs to be subdivided to provide separate spaces for the various charities as well as to create a community cafe.

This would also require changes to lighting, heating and ventilation, according to the council.

A spokesman said the work is expected to commence in late February or early March, but there is no estimated date for the charities to move in.

This is despite a report last year stating the facility was a priority due to the high concentration of care homes and older people in Chingford.

It added that the hub could accommodate charities that support older people in their homes.

Under the plan one charity would manage the building and organisations which rent space would meet running costs.

The library was replaced by the volunteer-run South Chingford Community Library in Chingford Mount Road, which opened last April.

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