New chapter for Sunderland library building

OFFICE PLAN: The former Monkwearmouth Library in Church Street North, Sunderland.
OFFICE PLAN: The former Monkwearmouth Library in Church Street North, Sunderland.
5
Have your say

ONE of Sunderland’s libraries - closed following budget cuts to the public purse - could soon be turned into an office for a media company.

Grade II-listed Monkwearmouth Library, in Church Street North, was one of nine axed by Sunderland City Council more than 18 months ago.

We’re not doing this because we want to, we’re doing this because we have to.

Councillor Graeme Miller

Now, production company MCC Media wants to take over the location for use as an office.

As part of the changes, six conservation area-style roof lights would also be installed.

Part of the application submitted to the council’s website reads: “MCC Media is an award-winning production company based within the North East of England.

“As a media company we specialise in documentaries, training DVDs and corporate communication videos.

“MCC Media work predominantly within the public sector across health/education and training and have designated account managers for each area.

“Our client base ranges from the Department of Health to Samaritans.”

Doxford Park, Easington Lane, East Herrington, Fence Houses, Hendon, Silksworth, Southwick and Washington Green libraries also went as part of plans to save £850,000.

The move was agreed by council members albeit they said it was with heavy hearts.

In September 2013, Councillor Graeme Miller said: “Nobody becomes a councillor to shut things.

“The focus should be on the Coalition Government who have cut our funding by £100million in the past three years.

“That’s 25 per cent of our budget gone.

“We’re not doing this because we want to, we’re doing this because we have to.

“Because of the internet, because of Facebook, because of gadgets, we don’t need libraries in the way we used to when I was 15.”

The plans for Monkwearmouth Library can be seen on Sunderland City Council’s planning website.

A consultation over the proposals ends on Thursday, March 19.