Press Release

Minister Welcomes Committee’s Regional Library Motion

Session: 2013/2014

Date: Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Reference: CAL 01/13/14

The Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure today brought a Motion to the floor of the Assembly which called on the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to support the redevelopment of Belfast Central Library as a regional library hub.

Chairperson of the Committee, Miss Michelle McIlveen MLA, said: "Today's Motion was about recognising the economic, social and educational benefits that a regional library for Northern Ireland could provide.

"Belfast Central Library has served the people of Belfast and Northern Ireland for the last 125 years. However, while once considered to be a leading city library, this architectural gem is now blighted by the ravages of time and can no longer deliver all the services expected of a modern, fit-for-purpose library.

"The Committee is delighted that the Minister has agreed to look favourably upon Libraries NI proposals to deliver a fitting flagship building within a transformed communications and learning hub at Library Square.

"A regional library offers a number of additional benefits which complement the important role played by library services in local communities, which the Committee supports."

Irene Knox, Libraries NI, said: "Libraries NI is grateful to the Committee for bringing this motion forward today; and for its recognition of the important role of Belfast Central Library. Libraries NI is also appreciative of the Minister's support, in principle, of a redeveloped central library."

Notes to Editors:

Committee Membership:

Michelle McIlveen (Chairperson)
William Irwin (Deputy Chairperson)
Dominic Bradley
David Hilditch
William Humphrey[1]
Rosie McCorley[2]
Basil McCrea[3]
Michael McGimpsey
Karen McKevitt
Oliver McMullan[4]
Cathal Ó hOisín

[1] With effect from 01 October 2012 Mr William Humphrey replaced Ms Brenda Hale

[2] With effect from 10 September 2012 Ms Rosie McCorley replaced Mr Pat Sheehan

[3] With effect from 04 March 2013 Mr Basil McCrea replaced Mr Robin Swann

[4] With effect from 12 September 2011 Mr Oliver McMullan replaced Mr Gerry Kelly

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