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Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 August 2005, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
City to get 40m 'super library'
Newcastle City Library
The new library will be built on the Princess Square site
Plans for a new multi-million pound state-of-the-art library for central Newcastle have moved a step closer.

Last year it was revealed 27m would be spent transforming the Princess Square site under the private finance initiative (PFI) scheme.

Now the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has agreed to allow Newcastle City Council to spend an extra 13.2m on the project - a total of 40.2m.

The cash will also be used to refurbish branches in Fawdon, Fenham and Heaton.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell said: "The quality of library buildings has a major impact on the number of visitors - new or refurbished buildings attract far more people.

'Accessible service'

"There has been considerable concern about the state of public libraries, and yet iconic library buildings have a major impact on the communities around them.

"The Newcastle project will be able to lead in that vision of excellence in public libraries, which we would like to see around the country."

No private partner has yet been chosen for the project.

A spokesman for Newcastle Council said: "We want to create a library service that is recognised as being one of the best in the country.

"Through this PFI bid we intend to provide people in Newcastle with a modern, efficient and accessible service, fully equipped with up-to-date facilities and technology."


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