Cornwall Council and The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to offer a joint customer Hub in Helston Library

Residents in Helston will soon be able to access a range of public services in one place following the co-location of a Library and Information Service and the Job Centre Plus, including a new children’s library and a JobCentre Plus service.

Redevelopment of the Helston Library building will make more efficient use of the existing building footprint, increasing floorspace by 10%. This means the architects have been able to create a new children’s library, a new interview room and space for the Department of Work and Pension’s Jobcentre Plus service. In addition the Cornwall Council Information Services, which is currently provided at Isaac House, will also be included within the library building.

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Bringing other services in to the current Cornwall Council owned building helps reduce costs, increases use of the building and brings in more potential library users, ensuring long-term sustainability.

Co-locating these services not only improves the range of services on offer for people to access in one place, it means the library has been protected.  While other authorities are closing libraries, the move means the library can be protected and remain open.

In addition to the current library service opening hours residents will also benefit from new self-service access from 9am to 5pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays providing extended customer access to the library services in Helston. Customers will be able to use the library, borrow and return items using the self-service kiosks and use the public access computers on these two additional days each week. 

Adam Birchall, Cornwall Council Head of Property, said: “Offering all of these services from a single location will improve the level of customer access and the customer experience.  Reconfiguration means we’ve been able to make much more effective use of public space and the existing building, which is a key part of our work to maximise the way we use public building across Cornwall, as well as ensuring Council delivers value for money.”

Edwina Hannaford, Cornwall Council Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods, said: “I would like to thank the Department of Work and Pensions for working with us on this exciting project. The new joint customer Hub will allow local residents, library users and job seekers to access a wide range of essential public sector services at one convenient location and I am sure this will be a great asset for the town.”

John Martin, Cornwall Councillor for Helston South said: “This new customer hub will be of great benefit to the town and I’m sure the new children’s library will prove to be a popular new addition to the Library.”

Commenting on the relocation of the jobcentre to the Helston Library, Nathan Kendall, Jobcentre Plus Manager for Helston, said: “This is excellent news for jobseekers. The move to the new centre will give access to a wide range of key services under one roof.  Advice on benefits and help for jobseekers will be available in this new customer hub, while giving local taxpayers value for money.”

During the period of the refurbishment works at the library, a temporary library service will operate from Issac House, on Tyacke Road, Helston, over the usual library hours. The temporary service will be provided for a period of approximately 12 weeks during the refurbishment works. 

The refurbishment works have begun and are expected to be completed in November.

More information about the Helston Library and Information Service can be found on the Cornwall Council Libraries webpage.

Story posted 11 October 2017