Lambeth council’s leisure provider GLL has submitted its plans for a gym in the basement of the Carnegie library in Herne Hill and the council has said that two competing plans to take over the assets of the library will be “independently assessed”.
Two groups have submitted formal applications to the council to run the building through an asset transfer process.
The council said it was planning to provide a “neighbourhood library service” in the building towards the end of of next year “alongside other community uses”.
Business plans from both of the groups seeking to take over the library’s assets “recognise the wider range of uses for the building as essential in maintaining a library service into the future,” said the council.
The council said it had worked closely with both groups – the Carnegie Community Trust (CCT) and the Carnegie Library Association (CLA) – and said their submissions would be independently assessed over the coming months. The CLA said it had received £9,355 from the council to help it to draw up its plans.
Cllr Jack Hopkins, council cabinet member for business, regeneration and culture, said: “It’s great news that the next important steps in the future of Carnegie Library have been achieved and we can now move forward.
“Both community groups have accepted the benefits of introducing a wider range of activities to the building, raising extra revenue to keep the library in Herne Hill for many years to come.
“I’m confident that when the building reopens it will be a great community hub offering something for everyone, including a great neighbourhood library.”
The planning application is expected be determined early next year.
The council said the new neighbourhood library in the Carnegie building would have longer opening hours than the previous full libray.
It would have “a similar level of bookstock” as previously.
Also available would be DVDs, audiobooks, large print books, IT facilities, study space, self-service book lending and activities including a weekly under-fives session.
The council said librarians would be on site for at least two hours per day.
It said similar neighbourhood libraries, run in partnership with community groups, had been opened successfully in Waterloo and Upper Norwood