Work starts on Fenham Library development.

Councillor Kim McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Health and Eugene Milne, Director of Public Newcastle City Coun
Councillor Kim McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Health and Eugene Milne, Director of Public Newcastle City Council meet members of the development team and services that are working on the Fenham Library project.

Work is underway on the unique development of the historic Fenham Library.

The works, which have been funded through a Public Health England capital grant, will see the creation of a unique Drug and Alcohol Wellbeing and Recovery Hub, a new FoodWorks community café and retain the library function.

Fenham Library Redevelopment

Work started this week on the redevelopment of Fenham Library. The work will see the addition of a Drug and Alcohol Recovery Hub, a new FoodWorks: We make things better Cafe and family area. The library will remain open throughout the work and be part of the new development once complete.

Posted by Our Newcastle, our great city on Friday, 24 August 2018

The development work will be in keeping with the original layout of the Grade-II Listed building which opened in 1938 and has held a special place in the heart of the local community since.  

National funding of £338,000 was secured from Public Health England to support the development of Drug and Alcohol Recovery Hubs, boosting residents on their journeys to recovery following issues of substance abuse and dependence.

Newcastle City Council commission a range of drug and alcohol services to support individuals affected by substances and their families/carers, these services are part of a wider framework that focuses on -

“A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

The development at Fenham will be designed to enhance residents’ recovery journeys and support their families, by providing access to a wide range of activities including private consultation pods, an exclusive gym and a new café, provided by the FoodWorks Supported Employment Service.

There will also be dedicated health and nutrition advice, space for family activities, counselling services and stop smoking support, creating a holistic approach to recovery that individuals can tailor to meet their specific needs.

Recovery of this type will be used as an addition to or following clinical interventions and the team behind Fenham development stress that it will not include clinical services, prescription distribution or a needle exchange.

The library will also retain its current services, with self-service borrowing pods and an open access computer suite, available for the general public and people using the Hub.

There will also be the installation of a new kitchen and café facility, which will be managed by the FoodWorks social enterprise.

FoodWorks launched in 2016 as part of Newcastle’s Supported Employment service, helping disadvantaged people from across the city to find employment. They currently run successful coffee and sandwich carts in Newcastle’s Civic Centre, Allendale House and Your Home’s Newcastle offices as well as a public café in Heaton.

All the food and drink served by FoodWorks is sourced locally from ethical providers, they are a key supporter of the Newcastle Food Partnership which aims to create a food economy that works for everyone.

Councillor Kim McGuiness, cabinet member for Culture, Sport and Public Health said;

“I welcome the development of the historic Fenham Library as a new multi-purpose hub in the heart of the community.

“The Drug and Alcohol Recovery Hub will help residents to continue their recovery journey and will provide them a space and support to interact with their families as well as improving their general health and wellbeing.

“This innovative approach to providing community centred support services will help us to engage with a broader range of residents.

“Drug and alcohol dependence can affect people of all ages and unique ideas like the gym, exercise facilities and brand-new café will be an attraction for young adults who may not have worked with recovery services previously.

“It is extremely pleasing that this development will allow the library remain open and continue to play a key role in the local community.”

The development work is expected to be complete w.c 29th October with an estimated opening date of 5th November, during the development the Library services will remain open with slightly adjusted opening hours.