New £1.4m Chaddesden library named after Derby MP Phillip Whitehead opens after 12-year campaign
STONE blocks from an historic hall demolished in the 1920s have been used to create the city's newest building.
The blocks from Chaddesden Hall have been laid outside the entrance to Chaddesden's new £1.4 million library, which was officially opened on Tuesday.
Councillor Martin Repton, Derby City Council cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: "The aim was to link the past with the present. It's been a long journey to get here but now we have this marvellous building and I think the local people of Chaddesden are delighted."
The Phillip Whitehead Memorial Library, named after the former Derby North MP, replaces a 59-year-old building and was opened after 12 years of campaigning.
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Mr Repton said it was an "honour and a privilege" to finally open the library.
He said: "This is a 21st-century iconic building. I can remember back to the 1950s when I first came to the library with my parents.
"It has served this community for half a century.
"Now we have this superb building which is a testament to the hard work by councillors, local people and staff, especially when there have been savage cuts across the country to libraries."
The new building features community rooms, more computers and fully-accessible toilets.
It was designed as a low-carbon building and has solar panels, uses natural daylight and ventilation and has a sedum roof, with the plant-covered surface acting as a natural drainage system.
Representatives from the Friends of Chaddesden Park, Age UK and Chaddesden Park Allotment Association visited the new site.
Among visitors were Helen Bull and her two-year-old daughter, Isobel Schoppler.
Miss Bull, 25, of Oregon Way, said: "Isobel loves books and reading. We will be coming on a weekly basis.
"The new library looks lovely and modern and I like the fact that there are community rooms for local people to come together and use."
Millicent Winson, 85, of Chaddesden Park Road, said: "I'll miss the old library but I can't believe what the new one looks like. It's fantastic."
The old building was built in 1954 at Chaddesden Park, itself created from Chaddesden Hall parkland, and closed on February 16. It is set to be demolished next month.
Work began on the new library in July.
Councillor Sara Bolton said: "Now it's here, much bigger, with better facilities. Phillip Whitehead loved books and was an author so it seems very fitting for this library to be named after him."
Mr Whitehead, who was born in Matlock Bath, was Derby North MP for 13 years and Euro MP for Derby and East Staffordshire for five years. He died in 2005 at the age of 68.