The development of community hubs is helping Wolverhampton City Council protect its library and community services for future generations.

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Type=image;ImageID=3715;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=The new children's library at Pendeford Community Hub;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=3720;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=The new library is bright and airy;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=3721;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Library features computer access areas, meeting and reading areas;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=3722;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=The new look community space and kitchen;TitleClass=strong;

Type=image;ImageID=3723;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=The outside of Pendeford Community Hub;TitleClass=strong;

That was the message from Councillor Elias Mattu, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities, as he officially opened the new Pendeford Community Hub.

The hub welcomed its first customers yesterday (Monday 31 March, 2014) and is one of a number of similar developments around the city which will offer a range of services including a library and community centre from under one roof.

Councillor Mattu said: "I'm very pleased that the community hubs programme is now coming to fruition - and that we have been able to save and protect our libraries, community centres and other facilities through their development.

"Community hubs have been in the news for the last 2 or 3 years and it was a very controversial proposal at the beginning; I'm pleased to say that now people are seeing what the concept actually means - providing a number of services conveniently from one location and helping to reduce their running costs at the same time - they are coming on board and appreciating what we have achieved.

"Across the country libraries and community centres are closing down, but we have actually managed to protect ours in the face of massive Government cutbacks through the development of community hubs like the one at Pendeford. This is great news for the people of Wolverhampton, not only now but also for future generations."

Over the last few months, the former library and community centre building at Whitburn Close has undergone extensive modernisation work which has seen its windows and roof lights replaced, flooring repaired, kitchen refurbished and electrics upgraded.

The new hub features a larger, reconfigured library including PCs available to the public and a self service machine, a large refurbished hall which can be hired out for community events such as parties, a meeting room and a display space for exhibitions.

Councillor Mattu said: "I'm delighted to see a complete transformation of this building and I'm pleased to say that the finished product is excellent.

"The building, which is more than 30 years old, used to be very tired; the floor was cracking, the walls crumbling, and it was very dark inside. The new hub is much more open and welcoming and people have been coming in and really complementing the transformation which has taken place.

"I'd like to thank everyone who has been involved in the development of this fantastic facility, including library users, members of Pendeford Community Centre, community leaders and local organisations such as the Local Neighbourhood Partnership. I'd also like to thank the young people of St Paul's Primary School who sang brilliantly for us to mark the official opening.

"I am looking forward to the official opening of more of our new community hubs over the coming weeks."

Long Knowle Community Hub will be officially opened next Tuesday (8 April, 2014), while Wednesfield Community Hub, which is already open, will be officially unveiled on Friday 11 April, 2014. Ashmore Park Community Hub is on track to open in a few weeks' time, while work on Low Hill Community Hub recently got underway and will be completed towards the end of the year.

The library at Pendeford Community Hub is open on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 1pm, Tuesdays from 10am to 6pm, Wednesdays from 1pm to 5pm and Fridays from 2pm to 5pm. Customers can also return, borrow and renew books using the self-service facilities at other times when the community hub is open.

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  • released: Tuesday 1 April, 2014