THE major refurbishment of a Winchester hub is underway and from today (January 1) it will fully close for seven weeks.

Winchester Discovery Centre will benefit from a £715,000 investment with2011 upgraded library facilities and improved gallery spaces, alongside enhancements to the café, toilets and lift.

This follows a decision to develop a new cultural hub at the Discovery Centre through the creation of a partnership between Hampshire County Council and Hampshire Cultural Trust.

The seven-week closure will enable work to continue safely, with the building expected to re-open in spring 2022.

Hampshire County Council’s executive member for recreation, heritage and rural affairs, Cllr Edward Heron, said: “This major refurbishment of the Winchester Discovery Centre site is set to deliver a fresh new look for the landmark building, offering significantly upgraded facilities. Unfortunately, during the most disruptive phase of this construction, it is necessary to close the whole site temporarily. We apologise for the inconvenience this will cause and thank customers for their support. Over this time, we are encouraging customers to make use of our extensive digital library, or one of the nearest alternative library branches.”

The refurbishment will see improvements throughout the building, including to the children’s library and community spaces, a new welcome desk, refreshed book stock and the creation of a new quiet study area. There will be additional facilities for teenagers and young adults including a digital lab providing courses on skills such as design. The café/bar will also be upgraded to create a welcoming and comfortable space in the heart of the building better suited for evening events, whilst improvements to the toilets and lifts will enhance accessibility for customers. The City Space gallery will be relocated onto the mezzanine to create an exciting new exhibition space.

Customers are being advised that:

• During the closure period, no fines will accrue from books loaned at Winchester in the run-up to this time (historic fines will still apply).

•The nearest alternative public libraries are Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford branches.

• The public toilets operated by Winchester City Council will continue to be available to access from Tower Street.

• For anyone with ill-health, a disability or caring responsibilities, the library can come to your home, including books in standard and large print alongside audio books. Find out more at

Regular updates on the works are available on Winchester Discovery Centre’s social media channels @winchesterDC.