NEW QUAY’S former library and reading room could be sold off but any money raised would remain for the town to use, as plans for its future are developed.
Ceredigion County Council’s charity trust committee agreed to start the next steps in deciding the vacant building’s future with a consultation to be held.
The building at Uplands Square has been vacant since 2021 and the library is now located at the town’s Memorial Hall, with no plans to return because of a lack of disabled access, no running water or toilet facilities.
Significant repair work has been highlighted inside the building, members also hear at their meeting on September 26.
The land was placed into a trust in 1952, a report to the committee states, with the priority conveyed to Cardiganshire County Council in 1956.
“As the trust site is now vacant and officers have received confirmation from the Library Service and NQCL [New Quay Community Library] that there are no plans to use the site as a library or reading room in the future, there is a need to consider the position of the trust and its future as the trust site is not currently being used for the purposes of the trust nor being of benefit to the beneficiaries of the trust,” a report adds.
A “doctrine” called cy-pres will be followed, that “enables charitable gifts, which would otherwise fail, to be diverted to another related charitable purpose” and a new purpose could be decided following consideration of the spirit of the original gift, the desirability of providing new purposes that are close to the original and the necessity for the new purposes “to be suitable and effective in light of current social and economic circumstances.”
The report adds that the new purpose of the trust to be proposed to the charity commission be “the advancement of education of the inhabitants of New Quay.”
Cllr Caryl Roberts asked that the consultation period be longer than the specified six weeks to ensure that all views were captured and engagement in New Quay as full as possible, which was agreed.
The committee heard that “if it got to the point of sale the money would stay in New Quay.”
The launch of a consultation – both online and off – was agreed, with New Quay residents to be asked whether they agree with the new purpose and if not what do the propose instead and what do they think the trust property could be used for.