Irthlingborough Library unveils new meeting rooms with added picture power

The rooms are available to hire for events

Friday, 1st October 2021, 5:09 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 5:12 pm

A county library has diversified from lending books to renting out meeting space for community groups in the heart of the high street.

Irthlingborough Library has unveiled two meeting rooms that will generate income for the cash-strapped service.

To give the rooms a local touch, a photography competition was held to find winning images to adorn the walls of the new suite.

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Cllr John Farrar cuts the ribbon

Claire Steptoe, customer adviser at Irthlingborough Library, said: "It’s been wonderful to organise this project for the opening of our meeting rooms.

"We really want the members of the public to feel at home here. By inviting the community to submit their own photographs, we hope that they have felt a part of the process - even if their photos weren’t chosen.

"I’m thrilled we had such a fantastic response to our appeal and it shows the great support we have from the community. I think people were keen to get involved with something exciting after the closure of the library during Covid. And what a better way to kick off our in-library events being re-introduced. We are looking forward to more community events like this.”

The library - one of the seven remaining council-run facilities in the North Northamptonshire Council area - will have two hireable meeting rooms and it is hoped their use will provide valuable income and attract interest from a variety of groups and individuals.

l-r Cheryl Scarborough, Bruce McLauchlan and Chris Johnson in front of Chris's photo.

With a capacity for up to 12 people the versatile space offers tables, chairs, Wi-Fi and facilities for hot drinks.

Ms Steptoe said: "The space is quite versatile - perfect for meetings or craft/hobby groups, however, we were keen to give the rooms a homelier feel.

"Earlier on this year we challenged the people of Irthlingborough to send photographs of the town. The aim was to pick six to be turned into beautiful canvasses and hung in the room.

"The competition had a huge response and we received over 100 entries. From there we whittled it down to just 30 - a very tough task indeed.

Cheryl Scarborough with her snowy scene of Irthlingborough

"The even more difficult decision was made by library service manager Carl Dorney and his team."

Winners and their families, and representatives from the town council, attended the official opening marked with the cutting of a ribbon by deputy mayor of Irthlingborough Cllr John Farrah.

Ms Steptoe added: "The afternoon was a great success with the help of tea and cake of course.

"The chosen winners were Scott B, Cheryl Scarborough, Bruce McLauchlan and Chris Johnson. We are thrilled with how they look in our new rooms and really enhance the library.

Bruce McLauchlan's view of the River Nene

"We would like to thank Camera Box in Kettering for printing these for us and supporting the project at a considerable discount, along with Irthlingborough Town Council for helping to fund the printing."

To find out more about the rooms, or to arrange a viewing, email [email protected]

Chris Johnson and his photo of St Peter's Church