A new chapter for former library

Guardian Judi Blackett pictured inside the former Foggy Furze library building.
Guardian Judi Blackett pictured inside the former Foggy Furze library building.

PEOPLE have the chance to start a new chapter in their lives by becoming a tenant of a former library – for just £45 a week.

An appeal has been made for tenants to move into the former Foggy Furze Library, in Hartlepool, which closed its doors at the end of March due to council budget cuts.

You don’t have to be a bookworm to move into the spacious Victorian building, but people are being urged to act fast as there are only four rooms up for grabs.

Property management firm Ad Hoc has signed a deal with Hartlepool Borough Council to look after the Stockton Road site while they decide what to do with the building.

Prospective tenants are called “guardians” and the idea is for them to deter thieves and vandals from targeting empty buildings.

The unfurnished property includes four bedrooms – two of which run the length of the building -, two bathrooms, a kitchen and three large communal areas.

The £180 monthly rent is cheap because the council pays for all utility bills, rates and essential repairs.

Steve Pursey, business development manager at Ad Hoc, said: “Most people will not get the opportunity, especially for the amount of rent that we are charging, to live in a property like this.

“The amount of room you get for the money that you pay is just amazing.”

All of the library stock was removed when the building – which served the local community for 60 years – closed its doors, saving the local authority £47,536.

The building is currently empty but tenants can move in straight away.

Guardians must be over 21, in employment and be able to provide references from employers and previous landlords.

They sign a rolling monthly contract and there is a two-week written notice period.

Bosses at Ad Hoc say the scheme is not suitable for people with children, and pets are not allowed.

The firm is also looking for guardians for other council-owned buildings including the former family resource centre in Somersby Close and a former family centre in Lealholm Road.

Those sites are available from as little as £30 a week.

They also have the Jesmond Road School caretaker’s house in their portfolio, which is currently full.

Council bosses say it is cheaper than paying a security firm to provide protection for the empty buildings.

A council spokesman said: “The council will be marketing the Foggy Furze building but we are not in a position to proceed just yet.

“In the meantime, we have linked up with Ad Hoc who are in the process of identifying some temporary tenants to protect the building.”

For more information, call York-based Ad Hoc on (01904) 795657.

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