MINEHEAD Library has reopened following a £857,800 refurbishment to make it more accessible, modern and energy efficient.

The roof of the 60-year-old facility has been replaced, the building updated and with improved thermal efficiency.

It has now reopened to visitors with a new extension, triple-glazed windows, an air source heat pump, solar panels, underfloor heating and improved thermal insulation.

Sue Crowley, Somerset County Council's strategic manager for libraries and registration services, said: “I hope everybody will enjoying using this new space. The transformation is great to see.

“The reach of Minehead Library goes far beyond the immediate community of Minehead. Regular users come from as far as Nether Stowey in one direction and right across Exmoor in the other, providing a focal point for this part of Somerset.

“The team in Minehead have been truly resilient throughout the project despite the various disruptions.

“We now have a library which I hope will take us forward for the next 60 years and we want to get the word out there that the library is back home and open for business as usual.”

Ollie Woodhams, the council's head of property, said: “First and foremost this is an excellent local library for Minehead and the surrounding community, but it is also a big moment in Somerset’s journey towards becoming a carbon neutral county.

“This is our first fully decarbonised library building and a real step forward for us.”

The library will be open between 9am and 5.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, 9am to 5pm on Fridays, and 9am to 1pm on Saturdays. It is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Alongside traditional book-borrowing services, the library will host registration and public health services, access to digital resources and a bookable room for community activities.

Somerset County Council has been busy working to decarbonise a number of its buildings, including several libraries, Glastonbury Hub and County Hall in Taunton.

Early estimates indicate that the delivery of the various schemes could reduce the council’s non-schools estate carbon output by around 27 per cent, which equates to around 400 tonnes of carbon per annum.

To keep up to date with latest information about tackling the climate emergency in Somerset, visit Climate Emergency at somerset.gov.uk