Green improvements at Bridgemary Library in Gosport approved

Hampshire County Council has given the go-ahead for an exciting project that will transform Bridgemary Library, in Gosport, into the Local Authority’s first ‘Green Library’

Jul 21 2023

Transforming Bridgemary into a ‘Green Library’ will include a range of changes designed to reduce the environmental impact of the building – including new rooftop solar panels and an air source heat pump heating system to enable renewable energy sources for the building. Electric vehicle charging points will also be installed in the car park to support the adoption of electric vehicles. This work builds on Hampshire Libraries’ commitment to be part of the national Green Libraries Partnership, working with library and information professionals to champion sustainability across UK libraries.

Hampshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Steve Forster, said: “Our vision is for Bridgemary to become a ‘Green Library’ that showcases the best of what libraries can do in terms of reducing their impact on the environment. However, this project is not only about changes to the building. We will also be investing in an education programme to boost skills and increase engagement with the local community about climate change issues. The building alterations and new ways of working with the community that we are developing at Bridgemary Library have the potential to be rolled out across other library branches, both in Hampshire and beyond.”

The project is being funded by a £150,000 capital grant from Arts Council England (ACE) as part of their Libraries Improvement Fund. The purpose of the funding is to enable library services across the country to invest in buildings and technology upgrades, so they are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.

The County Council is contributing an additional £35,000 towards the building works, with a further £25,000 being made available to benefit the local community. This will fund a new range of eco-themed books, as well as climate change themed events and activities. Bridgemary Library staff will be given specialist training to develop their knowledge and expertise about climate change to support and educate library customers and other building users. The improvements will also include a refreshed space for children and a more accessible garden, which will have a space for outdoor activities and quiet reflection. 

Cllr Forster added: “Investing in environmentally sustainable projects like the Bridgemary Library project is part of the County Council’s wider climate change commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. This is one of several major developments that seek to reduce carbon emissions across buildings owned by the Local Authority. We hope to complete the improvements at the library by March 2024.”