Today I was very proud to launch the new Redbridge Central Library Hub Central, which incorporates new centres of enterprise, technology and heritage. The new services, which have been made possible with investment from the Arts Council England of over £208,000, will enable digital learning, help businesses to develop and support residents to secure employment. They will also connect residents to the Borough’s rich heritage.
Our Libraries are important to us here in Redbridge, this is why I made a commitment that this Labour administration would not close any libraries. We know that libraries are important to our communities. In fact working with Vision, Redbridge Council has and will continue to support and invest in our libraries here in the Borough. In whatever for they take on in the future.
Hub Central gives a permanent base for our Work Redbridge partnership which offers 1:1 information, advice and guidance to residents looking for work, training, volunteering or self-employment. The Work Redbridge team deliver employability support from Hub Central five days per week. They also now offer 1:1 independent business advice from their Business Support Adviser who is able to support both start up and existing businesses to start, stay and grow in Redbridge.
The Library's 2nd floor is our new Heritage Centre - a modern, new space where anyone can explore our rich range of historic archives to discover the people, places and events in over 200,000 years of history in Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford. The Redbridge Heritage Centre contains a range of resources to help people research the history of their family, their house or the local area.
Redbridge Museum and Heritage Centre will jointly run regular workshops, talks and events to help residents, visitors and schools discover the Borough’s diverse history and encourage them to undertake their own research. The Museum and the Heritage Centre will also help community groups to apply for funding for their own heritage projects and offer a range of professional skills training including archiving, exhibitions, film making, oral history and research.
Finally on the ground floor Lab Central has been created, this is a dynamic makerspace and digital learning lab which positions Redbridge Central Library as the main technology hub for Ilford Town Centre. This project creates an exciting opportunity for the library service to engage with new users and to broaden the library experience for existing customers. It also provides young people with the opportunity to experience digital technology that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
We’ve just made our Redbridge Central Library a whole lot better; and I invite you explore and discover our re-imagined Central Library today. More information can be found at: www.redbridge.gov.uk/libraries