Enjoy a book and a brew at library cafe

An artists impression showing part of the interior of the new Anchorsholme Library cafe
An artists impression showing part of the interior of the new Anchorsholme Library cafe
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Visitors to a Blackpool library will soon be able to enjoy a cuppa with their books.

A £10,000 project has seen a cafe created at Anchorsholme Library in Luton Road.

The scheme is the brainchild of Anchorsholme ward councillors Paul Galley and Tony Williams, who have contributed £7,000 from their ward budget.

They have worked with Anita Cooper, manager of the Independent Living Centre on Whitegate Drive.

Coun Galley said: “We always thought the library, which is adjacent to the newly refurbishes East Pines Park, should become more of a community facility and we recently met with Anita who already operates Nibbles, a very popular cafe and drop in facility.

“The project has been 18 months in the making and Anita sees the plan as a great opportunity for the young people getting support from the centre to work in the cafe.”

The cafe, which will be called Anchor Cafe, is set to open later this month.

Coun Galley added: “The whole layout is totally dementia friendly and the next phase will be to redevelop the area at the back of the library into an oriental themed garden.

“Cafe and library users can sit outside and enjoy this natural sun trap complete with weeping willow tree.

“The final phase will be to install an entrance so people can access the cafe and library direct from East Pines Park.”

The ward funding has paid for the construction work, while further funding has come from income generated by Nibbles, which will also provide staff.

Ms Cooper said: “Nibbles was looking to extend its service offer and help our trainees move on and out into the world of work.

“We had the knowledge of training and running cafes and so we all came together and a working partnership was formed.”

Coun Williams has previously warned libraries must diversify their offer in order to stave off the threat of council cuts.

Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet nember responsible for libraries on the council, said: “We are proud to have kept all our libraries open in Blackpool and are working hard to make them hubs in the local community.

“The Anchor Cafe is another welcome addition to the growing number of people focused hubs that can be found around Blackpool.

“I am sure it will become a popular place to meet and be enjoyed.

“There have been so many people helping to make this project happen and they are all to be applauded.”