Hull Central Library gets 3D printer and other hi-tech gadgets after £300k investment

A section of Hull Central Library is set to be transformed into a new high-tech area with 3D printers, digital embroidery machines and vinyl cutters thanks to an investment of almost £300,000.

The Makerspace/Fablab will be created on the second floor of the city centre library and will provide access to a variety of equipment, technology and tools.

The new technological space will be available to people of all ages who want to “make, think, collaborate, invent, explore and exhibit” their work.

Councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for culture and leisure at Hull City Council, hopes it will encourage more visitors to come to Hull in the year of City of Culture.

He said: “We are delighted to be awarded this funding and this is fantastic news for residents and visitors alike.

The library has received a substantial amount of investment

“The significant investment will hep us to provide first class Makerspace facilities for everyone, including new visitors, and it will began to illustrate the directions of travel and the future of our public libraries.”

The area, which has been described as “state-of-the-art,” has been funded after £243,783 was received from Arts Council England and £45,00 was donated by the James Reckitt Library Trust.

As part of the redevelopment, which will also include soldering stations and banner printers, around 30 public computers in the Learning Centre have had to be relocated to other parts of the Albion Street building.

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Sarah Maxfield, who is the area director for the north at Arts Council England, said: “The Arts Council is the national development agency for libraries in England and we’re delighted to be investing over £1 million in libraries across the North through our Libraries Opportunities for Everyone Innovation fund.

“This programme has given us a fantastic opportunity to support new activities in libraries and to reach people who might not normally use their local library service.”

Dr Richard Heseltine, chair of the James Reckitt Library Trust, also welcomed the funding.

He said: “The James Reckitt Library Trust is delighted that the library service has secured this funding to realise their ambition to provide Makerspace facilities in Hull.

“This development fits very well with the Trust’s vision for the future of public libraries and we look forward to seeing the results.”

Further details about the project are set to be released this autumn.

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