Arts Council England funding feasibility study to examine library move and art gallery expansion.

People are being asked their views on plans to move Bideford library into the Burton Art Gallery – which could be extended to create a new ‘cultural centre’ in the town.

Arts Council England is now funding a feasibility study to examine the proposal, first revealed by the Gazette in August 2013.

Devon County Council has already identified Bideford as a high priority for having a replacement library, due to the poor disabled access and small size.

The county council has allocated funding to carry out the work, which will go ahead subject to the feasibility study showing a clear benefit to residents and both local authorities.

Councillor Roger Croad, who has responsibility for the county council’s libraries, said: “We very much support the integration of the library service within the Burton art Gallery and have capital funding identified for the relocation should we get the green light from the feasibility study.”

Torridge District Council owns the art gallery and museum.

Cllr Jane Whittaker, the district council’s lead member for communities and culture,” said: “Exploring the possibility of co-locating Bideford Library along side the Burton is an exciting opportunity for partnership working between Torridge District Council and Devon County Council and in the current financial climate it is vital that local authorities consider new ways of working.

“At Torridge we are keen to hear the community’s views on this and so I encourage you to go on line and complete a survey or go to the Burton or Bideford Library to complete a survey in person.”

People can find out more at a special event at the Burton on Tuesday, February 17, from 11am to 4pm.

Questionnaires about the integrated new service will be available at the event, or by clicking here.