Jeremy Paxman officially opened the brand new Shepherds Bush Library and the new WorkZone facility, which offers work skills training.
Paxman said: “I’m thrilled to open a new library at a time when so many supposed clever-clogs are predicting their end. It’s fantastic to have something like this in this part of town. A world without access to information and ideas is a world without light.”
One of the most innovative aspects of the new library is the Work Zone facility which sees Ealing Hammersmith & West London College and Job Centre Plus join with the Council to provide a dedicated recruitment and retention service for retailers and employers to fill their jobs locally. Borough residents can benefit from work specific training such as food hygiene certification which is needed to work in many of the restaurants, and employability skills including job interview techniques.
There’s also financial help with initial childcare costs for unemployed residents who secure Westfield jobs and a planned young persons’ Westfield work experience service.
Cllr Bristow added: The library and Work Zone have been built and fitted out by Westfield Ltd at a cost of over £2million, as part of the detailed negotiations for community benefits when planning consent for the shopping centre was granted. This building really is the jewel in the crown for libraries in London.
Duncan Bower, Westfield Development Director, said: “Westfield has worked closely with the council to build a contemporary library which will greatly enhance the learning, training and leisure resource for local residents. It will be a great addition to the centre, located along the lively Southern Terrace and easily accessible from the centre and Shepherds Bush Green. As a flagship for the borough, we’re extremely proud to welcome the library as part of the scheme.”