ANDOVER library will close its doors – temporarily later this year – as a £316,000 redevelopment has been given the go-ahead.

Hampshire County Council has agreed to renovate the space, in the Chantry Centre, which will see work carried out internally to improve the entrance, enhance the reception areas and modernise the building at a cost of £267,000.

The redeveloped library will also have a larger children’s area to allow for more activities, a new community room, accessible toilet and flexible spaces for groups.

And it is planned that there will be updated furniture and a general redecoration including energy efficient LED lighting, costing around £49,000.

The work was approved by the authority’s executive member for recreation and heritage Councillor Seán Woodward on Monday.

Cllr Woodward said: “These imminent changes at Andover Library will reaffirm its place at the heart of the community.

“The larger children’s area will mean a fantastic expansion of our current offerings, with babies, toddlers and youngsters enjoying more fun, free and paid-for activities.

“The library’s modernisation will mean it can be used by a broader mix of residents and organisations thanks to new spaces for hire, furniture which can be moved around more flexibly for events, and the removal of large counters to make better use of the public areas.”

To allow for the work to be carried out the library will temporarily close next month from October 1 to 7, and later this year from an unspecified date in December before reopening in early 2019.

And there will be a reduced service from October 8 to December, with the library opening from 10am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, 10-11.30am – for Rhyme Time – 11.30am to 4pm on Fridays, 10am to 4pm on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.

Cllr Woodward added: “The improvements will be phased in order to minimise disruption to customers.

“During the refurbishment, popular Rhyme Time sessions will continue on a weekly basis, the customer reservation function will remain, and a smaller number of public computer terminals will be available.

“We would encourage customers to visit nearby branches such as Whitchurch Library and Winchester and Basingstoke Discovery Centres, to look online for activities taking place at other libraries and also take full advantage of free online services which provide access to items including e-books and e-magazines.

“We look forward to revealing Andover Library’s fresh and modern makeover in the new year.”

During the redevelopment customers will be able to borrow a maximum of 30 books prior to October 1 – these will not be subject to fines or charges during the closure and can be returned to any Hampshire library.