Libraries could co-locate with four retained fire stations in Hertfordshire to reduce overall property running costs for the two services.

Hertfordshire County Council’s public health, localism and libraries cabinet panel met to discuss the possibility of libraries being located at Redbourn, Wheathampstead, Buntingford and Sawbridgeworth fire stations.

At a meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) the cabinet panel will recommend to cabinet that the project go ahead.

The department for communities and local government fire and rescue service transformation grant funding of £700,000 was secured in October 2014 to support the project.

The objectives of the bid are to support the inspiring libraries strategy in addressing the need to relocate or re-provide 11 libraries, to redesign under-utilised space within retained fire stations.

There are hopesIt is hoped tothis will reduce overall property running costs for the two services.

In a report of the director of health and community services, published by the county council, it also added that having libraries co-located with retained fire stations also presented the opportunity a chance for both services to enhance their community engagement with the community.

For example, parents visiting the fire station with their children to see the fire station will become aware of and may utilise the library and there is the opportunity for important fire safety messages to be promoted to library visitors.

The next steps for the project if members agree are a formal consultation at the Redbourn, Wheathampstead and Sawbridgeworth sites, liaising with communities to share the details of the schemes and developing the internal layouts for the co-location.