The Princess Royal, HEH Princess Anne officially reopened the newly refurbished Coleraine Library at a special ceremony held last Thursday.
On arrival HRH was greeted by Libraries NI Chief Executive Jim O’Hagan and the Chairperson of the Libraries NI Board Professor Bernard Cullen.
The Princess Royal was taken on a tour of the renovated facilities including a new three storey fully accessible extension, a multi-use meeting room, improved study areas, exhibition space and a dedicated Heritage Room with microfilm readers.
After an extensive £2.3million renovation project, funded by the Department for Communities, the new look Coleraine Library reopened to the public on Thursday 20 December 2018.
The library has been serving the community of Coleraine for fifty years.
The renovation project included improved access through the creation of a new entrance lobby to the library and the installation of a passenger lift to all floors.
Library members, schools and community groups have already been making full use of the new facilities the library has to offer.
The refurbished facility has also seen an increase in the number of members of the public taking the opportunity to become library members.
During the tour, HRH met and chatted with local primary school children taking part in a storytime session, contractors involved in delivering the project, ladies from the Knit and Natter group, Libraries NI staff members and local history researchers in the Heritage Room.
Following the tour, Professor Bernard Cullen, welcomed guests and invited Her Royal Highness to perform the official reopening and unveil a plaque to commemorate the occasion.
He expressed his thanks to the Department for Communities for providing the funding necessary to enable Libraries NI to undertake this renovation project and to all those involved in making the transformation possible.
Department for Communities Deputy Secretary Moira Doherty said: “These newly redeveloped, much larger premises reflect the changing nature of libraries in our society.
“They are modern, educational, social and creative centres, offering welcoming facilities which are open to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
“In marginalised communities in particular, libraries play a key role in helping to tackle poverty and social exclusion.
“I want to therefore reinforce the valuable contribution that libraries make in many areas of people’s lives. Libraries whether small or large can be a catalyst for positive social and societal change.”
The project was designed and project managed by a fully integrated design team lead by Hamilton Architects and constructed by Coalisland based building contractor Connolly and Fee Ltd.
Details of all library services available in Coleraine Library, visit Libraries NI website at www.librariesni.org.uk.