Tuesday 18 June 2024

Brent Council explains the Wembley Library changes

 I have recently been asked about the Wembley Library plans by people who have been in the Civic Centre and found the ground floor library closed. A temporary and much reduced library has been installed on the first floor shared with a Hub and with a restricted number of study spaces available elsewhere in the Civic Centre. The changes will cost more than £2m are are expected to be completed in the Autumn. The new main entrance to the Civic Centre will be next door to Sainsbury's - the present library entrance.

This is the statement from the Brent Council website:

Transformation of Wembley Library and Community Hub

Brent’s award-winning Civic Centre opened in 2013, replacing the former headquarters at Brent Town Hall. The building attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to speak to customer services, get married, register births and deaths, study, socialise and more.

As one of the greenest public buildings in the country, it uses 70% less energy, saving money and protecting the environment, and it brings all our services under one roof.

Since the building first opened, we have been regularly checking how people use the building to ensure it continues to be a welcoming space creating a positive experience for all visitors.

Customer Access review

Since the Covid pandemic, more residents access our services online and face-to-face support is being prioritised for residents with the most complex need.

In 2021, we launched a review to improve the way customers and residents access our services in the Civic Centre to respond to the changing needs of those using the building.

We received feedback from over 500 residents, staff focus groups, workshops and surveys.

As a result of this consultation, we will be making some changes to the building to improve the customer experience.

The key layout changes

The redesign will see changes to Wembley Library, the Community Hub, the Customer Services Centre and the Registration and Nationality space on the ground floor and the mezzanine floors.

The benefits will include:

  • A new welcoming main entrance to the building on Exhibition Way by Sainsbury’s and new customer waiting area.
  • A new dedicated customer area on the ground floor, where customers can meet with Hubs and Customer Service staff. This will include more meeting rooms so that customers can have private and confidential conversations with staff
  • A new purpose-built and enclosed Children’s Library
  • A repurposed mezzanine floor with a flexible and multi-use Library space and an increased number of study spaces
  • A private Family Room for confidential meetings
  • The building will be more accessible for visitors with wheelchairs, pushchairs, and complex needs
  • A dedicated digital area to support residents and visitors

Work update

Construction work to revamp and improve Brent Civic Centre is now underway.  Work is expected to be completed in autumn 2024. Throughout this period, all services will remain operational. A temporary library service will be available on the first floor of the civic centre. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience. 


Anonymous said...

Where was this review on 2021 publicised? First we've heard about it.

Martin Francis said...

This documnt followed the review: https://democracy.brent.gov.uk/documents/s126309/14a.%20Appendix%201%20-%20Customer%20Access%20Strategy%202022-26.pdf

Anonymous said...

Transformation? Reminds me of Brent's 2011 Libraries Transformation!

Anonymous said...

A bit difficult for pupils due to take their gcse exams this month. There is study space computers and wifi at Preston Community Library in Ashley Gardens off Preston Road. prestoncommunitylibrary.org

Paul Lorber said...

The original budget of under £2 million has already risen to £2,087,000. How many residents have asked for improvements in their area - safer payments, pot hole free roads etc and been told "there is no money". In our view spending over £2 million on this is not a priority and this is why the Lib Dem Group opposed this.

Anonymous said...

I’m sorry, my ears do not believe what I’m reading, It seems that the library will be disappearing to somewhere in the first floor. The press release is probably gonna say the community libraries are doing such a good service that the libraries is no longer required in Wembley

Anonymous said...

Labour run Brent Council created more mess on our streets by removing the street bins on residential roads to save just £53,000 per year or 20p per year per Brent resident.

This £2,087,000 they magically found divided by £53,000 = 39 years of street bins.

Anonymous said...

Waste of money

Anonymous said...

Who are these “customers” they describe? If we had a choice, we wouldn’t be buying.

Anonymous said...

Why is there an enclosed Children’s Library, in whose interest are we segregating children from their families and wider community? The set up in the library was good.

Anonymous said...

Absolute waste of our council tax money. Homes need to be refurbished, rubbish to be picked up many other important issues... This should be looked into mismanagement of our council tax money. Brent Council's consultations are 'fake'