Two Twyford library plans put to councilBy Jon Nurse
January 15, 2013
Two proposals to transform historical buildings into a community hub have been pitched to the borough council.
Plans to revive the Grade II- listed old schoolhouse in Polehampton Close by The Polehampton Charity have emerged, which rival a scheme by Twyford Village Partnership for the Twyford Men’s Club.
The Wokingham Times revealed the partnership’s plans for the Wargrave Road club last month, but can now report architects have drawn up plans to convert Polehampton School House.
The schoolhouse is used by Twyford and Ruscombe Theatre Group for rehearsals and storage.
Chairman of trustees James Fort said: “The trustees are considering a project to convert the old school building into a new library and to develop other parts of the same site to provide public amenities for Twyford and the surrounding area.
“The trustees believe the project will provide significant benefits for Twyford and have already discussed their proposals in outline with representatives of Wokingham Borough Council.”
Councillor David Lee, borough council leader, said: “I’ve met two groups about improving community facilities in Twyford.
“We will be looking at those schemes and decide what we can and can’t do. They are both interesting proposals that have been put forward.
“Priorities can change and we have a serious commitment to looking at upgrading the facilities in Twyford, but we also have a commitment to Wokingham town centre.
“I would like to thank the people working hard to bring something forward. We value it and don’t treat it lightly.”
Both groups are keen to replace the village’s ageing library in Polehampton Close with a community hub and library.
Mr Fort explained The Polehampton Charity’s proposal is not yet a fully costed or a detailed project, but the trustees are positive it is an option ‘well worth considering’.
Campaigners from Twyford Village Partnership presented their plan for a community hub at Twyford Men’s Club to the borough council last month.
The partnership’s ambitions to provide a hub serving the northern parishes was thwarted in 2011 when its favoured site in London Road was leased to supermarket giant Tesco.
But a Twyford Village Partnership spokesman said: “After discussions with interested parties a site has been identified. A comprehensive feasibility study and survey has been carried out and an outline design prepared for a building to accommodate the community hub.
“In addition budget costs have been prepared to illustrate both the overall cost of the project and the contribution being made by the local community.
“One of the more important roles of this hub will be the provision of a new improved library. It will also include space for the men’s club, parish councils, the police and the local history society and have areas for holding meetings or putting on displays.”