• Lake Macquarie City Council

Vision for Lake Macquarie’s first library museum has been released

Lake Macquarie City Council has released concept designs for the proposed Sugar Valley Library Museum to be constructed next to the newly opened Cameron Park Plaza on Northlakes Drive

Lake Macquarie Mayor Councillor Kay Fraser said the innovative co-located library museum facility promises to be a flexible and inclusive space where everyone is welcome.

“The Sugar Valley Library Museum will be one of only a few in the world, and the Hunter Valley’s first converged library and museum building, fusing contemporary library services, technology and community facilities with opportunities to celebrate, promote and captivate through storytelling of local history,” Cr Fraser said.

Council’s Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism Jacqui Hemsley said the new library museum would provide contemporary creative experiences for residents in the City’s northwest.

“Our new library museum will provide an engaging, innovative space at the forefront of what a quality cultural facility can be – multi-use, diverse and engaging,” Ms Hemsley said.

“The ultimate aim is to deliver an enhanced experience where people can come together to learn, create and connect. It’s not just about books anymore, it’s about technology, information sharing, creativity, storytelling, gathering and immersion.”

In addition to providing library services, the proposed facility will feature a museum collection showcasing the history of the region, with the opportunity to attract touring exhibitions.

“Exciting interactive and immersive experiences will allow our community to engage with West Wallsend’s unique history at the museum and via trails to the township of West Wallsend.,” Ms Hemsley said.

“We have been working with the West Wallsend District Heritage Group to develop the museum collection and exhibition programs to allow the community relive the history of the area.

“We expect the new facility will see library membership and visitation in the north-west increase by 30-35per cent.”

The proposal to relocate services from Edgeworth to Cameron Park was identified in the Library Services Delivery Model 2011, and the Lake Mac Libraries Five-year Strategic/Business Plan 2019-2024.

“During consultation on our Five-year Business Plan, the community was supportive of the proposal to co-locate library services with a museum at Cameron Park,” Ms Hemsley said.

“We are excited about this opportunity to provide a modern facility with the latest technology and a diverse educational experience.”

Council is asking the community to provide feedback on how they could use the spaces proposed in the Sugar Valley Library Museum. The community is encouraged to have their say by visiting shape.lakemac.com.au before 8 December 2020.

Pending approvals, construction is expected to start in late 2021. Edgeworth Library will remain open until the new cultural facility is operational in late 2022.

Once construction is complete, library services at Edgeworth will relocate to the new building. The project will be funded by developer contributions.

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