BLACKHEATH library will be transformed into a 'one stop shop' for residents to access council services all under one roof - in a move which has saved the building's future.

Sandwell Council is preparing to take over the whole of the library building on the High Street and transform it into a welcoming, state-of-the-art hub for the community, which will open next summer.

The scheme is also expected to increase visitors to the library and help local traders by boosting footfall along the High Street.

The council did a deal with library owner Black Country Housing Group (BCHG) after it put the building up for sale - and is swapping four parcels of land in exchange for the library.

Staff and services from the current Rowley Regis Local office will move from Payne Street to Blackheath Library building as part of the proposal.

The hub will be a ‘one stop shop’ for residents across Rowley Regis to access council and other community services which will be equipped with the latest online and card payment facilities.

The building will continue to host community activities and provide advice, information and hands-on help with getting online as well as continuing to provide library services including the children’s library on the ground floor.

Current owner Black Country Housing Group (BCHG) is moving its staff to other premises.

In exchange for buying the building, the council is planning to sell four parcels of land to BCHG to build around 90 much-needed new homes.

At its meeting tomorrow (Wednesday November 20), Sandwell Council’s Cabinet is recommended to approve final plans for the project so that the hub is ready to open by summer 2020.

Local residents will be consulted in early next year to help ensure services at the hub meet their needs.

Land exchanges are expected to take place between January and May 2020.

The four parcels of land being sold to BCHG are the outdated council offices in Payne Street, Blackheath; the former Shaftesbury House site in High Street, West Bromwich; and council-owned sites in Meredith Street/Upper High Street, Cradley Heath and Birmingham Road, Rowley Regis.

The redevelopment of these sites over the next two to three years is set to improve the look of the areas and boost regeneration.

Plans for these new homes will be subject to planning permission.