It was closed last March and re-opened on Monday morning as a community hub with a new coffee shop and community room in which people can learn, seek advice and socialise.
When the extension was proposed in 2013, Cardiff council estimated it would cost about £500,000. But the council expects to reduce annual running costs from £118, 940 to £68, 463, including employment costs, a saving of £50,000 a year.
Ashley Lister, the 22-year-old secretary of Grangetown Community Action, of Clive Street, said: “The opening of the new Grangetown community hub has been a long, but worthwhile wait. The hub will be offering far more than the old library ever did, by introducing benefit, housing and employment advice and support, to name a few services.
“For me the new community room and coffee shop are the most exciting part of the development as they create a space for the community to come together – a space I hope will be used to its full potential by the various groups Grangetown has.”
Councillor Chris Lomax, who visited the hub in Havelock Place during the opening, said: “The hub is nice and bright and it gives a welcoming feeling and they have only been open for 45 minutes. They are busy welcoming people into see the library and have shown people the other facilities that are available such as CV writing, housing benefit, citizens’ advice.
“There is also a cafe where volunteers can get training to earn their food handling certificates and gain confidence with the general public. It has been well worth the wait to have such a facility in Grangetown, and it is great to see that the community room has already got several bookings from local organisations.”
Mr Lister said: “Essentially I think it is a fantastic project as it is collaborative working, bringing services which are important to the community into one local venue. I am extremely happy that we have maintained the large well-loved library space, which we have been without for almost a year. I am already aware of some of the projects that groups in the society are planning on using the community room to engage with the community, so there are no complaints from me.”
SEF Cymru, a group helping women and children gain a better education, plans to hold a homework club there two nights a week. The local history society will move back into the library for its monthly meetings and Grangetown Community Action Group will work there.
The hub is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9am until 6pm, except on Wednesdays when it opens from 10am until 6pm and Saturdays when times are 9am to 5.30pm.