A new chapter for community space as Tudor Drive Library extension opens
A brand new extension to Tudor Drive Library was unveiled on Friday 20 October, following a community contribution agreement between Kingston Council and Berkeley Homes.
The new space was funded and constructed by Berkeley Homes as part of the development of the nearby Richmond Chase site, which includes the historic Latchmere House.
The library extension will house a scaled model of a Hawker Jet aircraft, which was constructed at the nearby Hawker aircraft factory site on Richmond Road from the 1960s. The space also celebrates the rich history of Latchmere House, which has served as a private house, a WW1 hospital, a WW2 interrogation centre and a prison.
Cllr David Cunningham, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Regeneration at Kingston Council, said:
“I'm delighted with the extension of Tudor Drive Library, which is a hugely valued community hub. It’s important that communities feel the benefits of local development and, through the section 106 agreement, we have secured a fantastic new facility for North Kingston.
“With links to the history of Latchmere House and Kingston's aviation heritage, the extension both celebrates our Royal Borough's impressive history and provides a brand new space which will be used by residents for years to come."
Tony Pidgley CBE, Chairman of the Berkeley Group, added:
“Our libraries are places of contact, community and pride. This isn’t just a place to learn. It’s a place for everyone. Yoga groups, knitting groups, toddler groups and local meetings. This library extension is a product of true partnership and I want to thank everyone involved for working with us to make it happen.”
This news follows the council’s recent £500,000 investment into the borough’s seven libraries, creating a new look and feel, as well as introducing state of the art self-service technology.
Tudor Drive Library welcomes on average 6,000 visitors a month and has seen a 12% rise in footfall in the last year alone.