New chapter for JL & Highgate Library

James Tilston 11 April 2017

Jacksons Lane Arts Centre and Highgate Library could be brought together to create an exciting new community arts and culture hub under proposals unveiled this week.

Jacksons LaneJacksons Lane has approached the Highgate Library Action Group (HLAG) and Haringey Council to discuss the possibility of relocating Highgate Library to Jacksons Lane Arts Centre, at the corner of Archway Road and Jacksons Lane.

The innovative move would see Jacksons Lane host new and upgraded library services, while also offering library users easy access to Jacksons Lane’s array of community activities and facilities.

The existing library site – just a two minute walk away on Shepherd’s Hill – could then be sold, with funds from the sale invested in the new library alongside further improvements to Jacksons Lane.

Jacksons Lane, HLAG and the council will now work together to explore the idea in greater depth on the understanding that relocating the library would allow for:

  • An improved library space with enhanced technology
  • Access to a wider range of facilities and activities
  • Better use of space at Jacksons Lane, with a dedicated separate entrance for the library
  • An aim to match the existing amount of library space
  • The council to maintain responsibility for library services

AS2J7502Jacksons Lane Chief Executive James Tilston said: “We’re proud to be at the heart of Highgate’s vibrant arts and culture scene, and we’re always looking for ways to build on and improve our offer to the local community.

“We think that bringing the library into Jacksons Lane would be the ideal partnership – offering an exciting new library location and allowing even more people to enjoy the facilities, events and activities already on offer at Jacksons Lane.”

Cllr Bernice Vanier, Haringey Council’s Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Culture, said: “We really welcome the idea put forward by Jacksons Lane, which could see two of Highgate’s best loved community and culture venues brought together.

“While these proposals are only in the very early stages, Jacksons Lane have a terrific track record of delivering exciting and innovative cultural activities at the heart of the community, and we believe that relocating the library could be a perfect fit. It would also free up investment for improvements to both the arts centre and the library.

“We’re committed to keeping and improving all of the borough’s libraries, which is why we’re clear that any move would have to be in the best interests of the local community and library users. We look forward to working closely with both Jacksons Lane and the Highgate Library Action Group to develop proposals further before any decisions are made.”

Woman in red nose pokes her head out from a fabric tunnel, as two babies play next to herSusan Chinn, Chair of Highgate Library Action Group, said: “The HLAG committee is committed to serving the library and will cooperate in the local consultation and feasibility study for this interesting and thought provoking project.

“We want to allow all voices to be heard and answered during a period of discussions. Libraries are a precious heritage in whatever form they take and the future of Highgate Library must be assured.”

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