Laois CEO waiting for possible funding announcement for new Portlaoise library

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

New Portlaoise library plan

The planned new Portlaoise library

The Laois CEO has responded cautiously to the possibility of funding for the new €5 million Portlaoise library.

The planned new library at the former Shaws shop on Main Street, was put on hold last May 2017 after the construction price rose from €3.7m to €5m.

The council asked the government to double a grant of €1.65m but is still waiting approval.

A new national library plan about to be launched may hold the key.

Laois County Council CEO John Mulholland is waiting to see what it will hold for Laois, and in particular the new planned county library.

"I will wait until I see contents of the New National Plan before I make any comment on same," he told the Leinster Express. 

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, will launch the Government’s new Public Library Strategy 2018-2022 in the coming weeks.

Among the plans to increase library usage, it is expected to abolish fines for late returns.

The Portlaoise library site was bought by Laois County Council in 2013 for €450. Designs by Portlaoise architects McCarthy O'Hora are approved. The €5 million includes the purchase price, demolition of the existing building, construction of a new 1,500 sqm library, gallery and reading garden, and furniture, computers and books.

The new strategy follows local consultations held by each county's library service. Laois has 10 libraries.