Chester Library is moving to Storyhouse

16 November 2016

Residents are invited to drop-in sessions to find out more about the exciting changes taking place with Chester Library between now and the opening of Storyhouse – the new £37m theatre, cinema and library space.

 The sessions, hosted by Cheshire West and Chester Library Service and Storyhouse, take place on Thursday 1 December from 11am to 2pm, and Monday 5 December from 4pm to 7pm in Chester Library, Northgate Street.

Visitors will be able to find out more about the new Storyhouse library including the dedicated children’s library, complete with an arts/crafts messy play area and a storytelling room; dedicated family and local history section; improved digital facilities and services; flexible event spaces; increased opening hours and opportunities to get involved. 

Visitors will also be able to ask questions about how they might be affected by the move, and discuss thoughts and plans with the team behind the project. 

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “The drop-in sessions are a great way to find out more about the exciting transition of Chester Library to Storyhouse. 

“The library team are working closely with Storyhouse on how the service will be delivered in the new exciting storytelling centre.  We are excited to share progress and to be able to talk to residents and community groups about how they can get involved.”  Alex Clifton, artistic director of Storyhouse, said: ““This internationally acclaimed partnership between Storyhouse and CWAC is a model for cultural innovation.  It’s a new way to make, share and discover stories. The centre unifies two theatres, a cinema and – uniquely – the city’s library services. The project has garnered international attention as a blueprint for innovation.

“Storyhouse’s library is a family-friendly and community-led service. Working with CWAC we will be able to offer a wide programme of fun creative activity, with opportunities for people to learn, explore, create, participate, volunteer and train with Storyhouse.

“The library invites Cheshire’s diverse communities to meet, make and play together in a place where we bring stories to life, and great culture to Britain’s greatest city. At its heart is its community.”

Chester Library is set to close at the end of March 2017 to prepare the brand new Storyhouse library. During April 2017 stock will be moved across to the new library and the existing library staff will be trained in the new state of the art space.

During April 2017 when the library is closed, members of the public will be encouraged to use the nearby libraries of Blacon, Great Boughton, Lache and Upton.

Storyhouse is set to open the beginning of May 2017. It will house a world class library offering the latest in digital technologies, a 500/800 seat theatre that will present home produced and the country’s best touring work, a 100-seat cinema, screening the best independent and mainstream films, plus a café/restaurant and bar spaces.

Mark Elliott, Director of Corporate Affairs at MBNA, the principal sponsor of Storyhouse, said: “As a major employer in the city, MBNA is keen to invest in building Chester as a destination for culture and learning.  The new library is set to become a truly ground-breaking community space, teeming with activity, technological interventions and exciting ways to discover and learn.”

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