Praise from MPs as Barnsley Council opens the box...

Barnsley’s new Lightbox library has opened to the approval of two of the town’s MPs, who attended the ceremony alongside many other civic dignitaries.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 2:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th July 2019, 10:29 am
Civic pride: MPs Dan Jarvis and Stephanie Peacock with Barnsley Mayor Coun Pauline Markham at the newly installed Kes statue

The formalities took place early, with the doors then thrown open to crowds of visitors who turned up to see the ultra-modern facilities, which include un-library like equipment such as a top floor music studio and sprung dance floor, in addition to creativity workshops which will give visitors the hands-on opportunity to work with tools more familiar to a pre-computer generation.

MPs Dan Jarvis and Stephanie Peacock were among the early visitors and Mr Jarvis praised the way the service had been formed, building on the tradition of what has gone before while acknowledging changes in the way people use technology to access information.

“If you are going to do something, do it properly. Our residents deserve the best possible services and that is what this will deliver.

Rousing: Dodworth Colliery Band provided stirring brass music to mark the occasion

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“I think it will be well used, this is the right place for it,” he said.

Ms Peacock added: “It is a fantastic facility. It is modern but pays tribute to the history of the town, it is just wonderful and it has been a brilliant opening.”

She was impressed with features such as the inclusion of a 3D printer and the ability for user groups to gain access to the building out of hours.

The May Day Green entrance to the building, which has facilities over four floors, is dominated by a bronze statue of Kes character Billy Casper, produced by Graham Ibbeson with money raised locally.

That is destined to spend a year in the library but its future beyond that date has yet to be announced.

Music for the opening was provided in the best Barnsley brass tradition, by Dodworth Colliery Band.