Plans have been unveiled for the re-introduction of a new community library and cafe in Highbridge.

Sedgemoor Community Partnership and Morland Community Hub have unveiled proposals to start a new library at the hub building in Pearce Drive on the Morland estate, pictured below.

The former Highbridge library closed down in 2018 in the town’s Market Street amid cost-cutting measures by Somerset County Council and the building was turned into flats.

Now, a grant funding bid for £13,924 has been submitted to Burnham and Highbridge Town Council to cover three projects: firstly, launching the new library and a cafe at the hub; secondly, the purchase of a new defibrillator for the Morland estate; and thirdly, taking over the Trowbridge Close Hall to allow for the expansion of the food pantry service and introducing a new consultation / therapy room.

Morland Community Hall Highbridge

A spokesperson for the hub explains: “The Morland Hub would like to re-introduce a library service to Highbridge in the form of a pop-up library and cafe, initially for one day a week.”

“We have agreement with County Libraries to stock the library and rotate books – we also plan to have laptops available for use and we are planning joined in events like a children’s story time.”

“Alongside this, we plan to run a cafe so parents can have a cuppa and a chat while their children are occupied. We are looking at a proper coffee machine and light snacks, cakes etc.”

“We have volunteers ready and we are seeking help with the set up cost and hopefully an ongoing commitment towards the annual running cost to cover stock loss replacement and staffing cost.”

“This will lead to a greatly improved and expanded community facilities at the Morland Hub, the return of a library to Highbridge, the pantry will be able to increase capacity to help even more families, and a defibrillator will come to the Morland estate.”

The Morland Hub currently hires out space for local groups to use such as the Brownies, a karate club, a knitting group, ladies crafting group, mind art group, youth club, youth theatre group and bingo. They also run events such as community lunches and host the Mens Shed and Ladies Shed groups.

The grant application is set to be decided at a Town Council meeting next week.


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