WORK has started on the £300,000 refurbishment of Pontypool library.

Work started on the weekend at the popular library after listed building consent was granted earlier this month.

The major work, that was made possible with a £300,000 Community Learning Libraries Development Fund grant from the Welsh Assembly, should be completed by late spring 2011.

Until then staff have set up a temporary library based in the former Pontypool Register Office on Hanbury Road.

Most of the services offered are available at the library's temporary home, including a wide selection of books, audiobooks, CDs and DVDs to borrow and newspapers and magazines to read.

Although there are a reduced number of computers available, customers will still be able to use the internet and word processing facilities free of charge.

Library staff will also be on hand to answer enquiries.

Torfaen Council say the new look library will provide a more comfortable and contemporary environment for its customers.

There will be a more open layout on the ground floor, and the basement will be brought into public use as a computer suite and community meeting room. The refurbished library will be fully accessible by wheelchair users, with the construction of a glazed canopy at the side of the building to accommodate a new door opening to the ground floor and a disabled lift to the basement level.

Deputy Leader of Torfaen council, Councillor Lewis Jones said: "It gives me great pleasure to announce that work has started on the refurbishment of what is a very popular library.

"Our dedicated staff have worked hard to minimise disruption in the weeks leading up to this work.

"I would like to thank those that use the library for their patience during this time and assure them that they will soon be rewarded with a modern state-of-the-art library service."

While the refurbishment work is carried out customers who have difficulty accessing the former Register Office should contact the library to enquire about a temporary library at home service, or details of their nearest mobile library stop.

For more information call 01495 766160 or e-mail