Harrow Council hopes plans to merge libraries and “nurture” cultural services will transform people’s lives for the better.

Cabinet members decided to commence proposals to close Gayton Library and the Civic Centre Library and combine the two at a new site in Harrow Town Centre last Thursday.

The merger aims to save the council much needed cash after a reduced funding budget from central Government means it is forced to find further savings.

Portfolio holder for community and cultural services, Councillor David Perry, said: “We will now look at each of the recommendations in more detail to ensure these services continue to grow and develop. With less money available, we have had to look at innovative ways of making this happen.

"We recognise the important role these facilities play and the power they have to transform people’s lives for the better.

"Harrow has strong tradition of culture and learning and we want to see this nurtured and developed despite the tough financial situation we find ourselves in."

If all the recommendations are realised, the council anticipates savings of up to £345,000 per year.

The plans could also see improvements to public IT systems in libraries and the restoration of the borough’s Headstone Manor and museum. Another idea focuses on libraries being moved into cultural facilities, for example Hatch End Library relocating to Harrow Arts Centre.