Extra £450,000 needed to move Parkhead Library to new Glasgow health hub

An extra £450,000 is needed to help Parkhead Library move into a new Glasgow east end health hub due to increased costs linked to Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Councillors have already agreed to spend £2.5 million on the move.

Glasgow councillors previously backed spending £2.5m on the relocation of the library and have now agreed to hand over the additional money.

Plans for the new £60m health and social care hub were approved earlier this year, with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde bringing a range of services under one roof on the former Parkhead hospital site.

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As part of the project, the area’s library will move from the existing B-listed Carnegie building at Parkhead Cross to the new hub.

The council has said the move will ensure people can access services they need in one location.

Cllr Kenny McLean, city convener for neighbourhoods, housing and public realm, said: “The approval of this funding marks the next step into the delivery of what will be a fantastic community asset for the north-east of Glasgow, bringing together key services in one location and continuing the area’s regeneration.”

A report to councillors stated due to “current construction market conditions in relation to material availability”, there are “cost increases above inflation and the availability of skilled labour, primarily a result of a combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic”.

It added: “As a result, recent tenders have been coming back from the market above the pre-tender estimates, in some cases up to 40 per cent: more than anticipated.”

The Parkhead project has faced cost increases “in line with the national market” and the Scottish Government has confirmed “the range of increases experienced on other contracts” and the project should be brought forward.

It means the inclusion of the library has also been subject to a cost increase, with £444,238 needed. Now the funding has been approved, the project will be put forward as a full business case submission to the Scottish Government’s capital investment group next month.

The Salamanca Street hub will provide primary and social care services, including mental health, addiction, criminal justice, homelessness, sexual health and children’s services.

North east Glasgow has seven of the 25 most deprived data zones in Scotland and many people within the zones are served by the current Parkhead Health Centre.

According to the plans, it is hoped the new centre will “improve access to a range of services and reduce inequalities for people living in the north east of Glasgow”.

Glasgow Life, which runs cultural and leisure venues for the council, will manage the library, with the NHS and Glasgow’s health and social care partnership delivering the other services.

A 60-year lease at a nominal £1 per year for the library move was agreed between the council and the NHS trust in June this year.

At that time, a report said the relocation allows for “collaborative working” with other council services and the NHS and is in line with a council aim to “reduce the overall size of the estate” and “establish services in more efficient and fit for purpose buildings”.

Opening hours can be “significantly extended” due to the hub’s operation times, the report added.

The council has previously said a ‘masterplan’ will be drawn up for the redevelopment of Parkhead Cross, including the library, the listed Steamie and an ex-primary school.