Works on a new library are said to be taking shape as the council hopes to welcome residents in next year.

Twyford Library will be located in the former Old Polehampton Boys School building, with construction workers helping "breathe new life" into the listed historic landmark.

On opening, it will offer residents a new space with a large flexible conversion of the main hall and a new children’s library space.

Users will also benefit from other popular library features including free access to computers.

Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services at Wokingham Borough Council said: “Libraries are at the heart of our communities.

"Not only do they offer services like access to events, books, DVDs, magazines, and the internet, but they also act as hubs for people to gather and socialise.

“This is something we’ve found increasingly important over the past years, with the ongoing cost of living crisis and many people still suffering from the impact of the pandemic.

“We’re focussed on turning our libraries into safe spaces for our communities.

"Welcoming all, whether as a warm space for someone struggling to heat their property over winter,  somewhere for someone feeling isolated to come along and have a chat and know they aren’t alone, or simply a space for someone wanting to access the free services on offer."

During the past months the interior space has been carefully excavated with a new concrete floor and underfloor heating installed to help keep the space warm.

Foundations have also been laid for the new entrance area, which will link the main library hall with the outdoor space and a new accessible entrance.

Installing foundations for the extension has been a "complex piece of work" requiring the council’s contractor to install 16-metre-deep piles to support the new building, due to the proximity of the railway and the sloping nature of the site.

A lift shaft for the new platform lift, which will help wheelchair users and those with limited mobility access the spaces, has also been installed.

In the coming months, residents will start to see the new extension take shape, as work continues to renovate the interior spaces of the old school buildings. 

Cllr Stephen Conway, leader of the council, said: “The new space will be a wonderful asset for the local communities and something which will offer residents so much more than the current dated building."