CAMPAIGNERS want to block a controversial bid to move Netherton library out of its landmark Victorian building which is at the “heart” of the town.

Dudley Council wants to shift the library, currently based at Netherton Arts Centre, to the nearby Savoy Centre – a business centre run by Black Country Housing and Dudley Council.

But councillors Qadar Zada and Tracy Wood are against the move, which they fear could lead to the imposing arts centre being sold off.

The centre houses a 340-seat theatre with dressing rooms and function rooms, which are used by Dudley Performing Arts and groups including Dudley Little Theatre.

Netherton councillor Qadar Zada said: “Our biggest fear is that this paves the way for the closure of Netherton Arts Centre.

“A lot of residents have approached me saying they don’t want to lose this iconic building with beautiful architecture which is at the heart of Netherton.

“We must do everything possible to keep what we have got and preserve the future of the arts centre by keeping the library there.”

Councillor Tracy Wood said: “The arts centre is a landmark building and we are worried about its future if the library moves out of it.”

Councillor Adrian Turner, cabinet member for housing, libraries and adult learning, said: “We understand both the library and arts centre are popular with local people and our proposals to relocate the library into the Savoy Centre are designed to sustain the future of both services.

“Our plans for the arts centre include relocating staff into the building to bring together Dudley Performing Arts and to keep the building as a vibrant centre for young people and the local community.”

A consultation into plans ends on Friday November 11.