Work to start on turning Shrewsbury Library into council's new home
Builders will moving into Shrewsbury's Library next week to begin work for the historic building to become the new home of the town's council.
The work is expected to take around six weeks and should allow Shrewsbury Town Council to move into the library by the end of October.
A budget of £200,000 has been set aside for the work although the council says it hopes the changes will come in under budget.
Councillor Alan Mosley, leader of Shrewsbury Town Council, said staff are looking forward to moving into the authority's new permanent base.
He said: "It will be great to have a permanent base for our headquarters and office accommodation and also that it is in such a prestigious location."
Shrewsbury Town Council is also in negotiations with Shropshire Council to take over the running of the library service at the building.
Shropshire Council has been seeking to reduce its libraries budget and has been seeking new management for its libraries across the county.
Councillor Mosley said: "We hope to integrate closely with the library service and ultimately finalise discussions about taking responsibility for the service as a delegated function.
"It is an excellent and extremely important building and it is vital that full use is made of it and that we ensure the library service is protected for the future."
Changes to the building include office accommodation for both council and library staff, as well as the creation of a 'mayor's parlour'.
The building will also house the mayor's silver, and work must be carried out to install the council's computer system.
Shrewsbury Town Council's clerk, Helen Ball, said the plans would ensure the building remains used.
She said: "More people will be able to use it and appreciate it. It is a beautiful building inside and it is a good example of bringing a historic building into use."
The library was the home of Shrewsbury School between 1550 and 1882 with a library opening at the site in 1885.
It was temporarily relocated to Raven Meadows in 1976 while the building underwent extensive renovations.
It was officially reopened by Princess Margaret in 1983.