From beer to books

Article image - From beer to books The new Tura Library and Community Centre in what was formerly a hotel and pub building.

Bega Valley Shire Council found a creative solution for a pub that was up for sale.

The community around Tura Beach on the New South Wales far south coast celebrated the opening of their new library in late June.

The size of the community response at the official opening of the Tura Marrang Library and Community Centre was perhaps only equal to the size of the transformation that this building had undergone.

In 2013 Bega Valley Shire Council saw a bright, dynamic community asset in what was then a dark, abandoned, inward looking pub.

The building itself was only a handful of years old and in sound condition, with views out to the nearby ocean.

Financial trouble had seen the hotel business fold and the building listed for sale.

Council purchased the building for $1.2million, but was able to sell the poker machine and liquor licenses that came with the purchase to partially fund the vision Councillors had for the building.

“These sorts of decisions don’t happen lightly,” said Anthony Basford, Council’s Director Community, Relations and Leisure.

“Tura Beach is the fastest growing area in our Shire and was in need of a place to call their own and come together.

“The old tavern presented an opportunity to deliver on that vision.”
Council worked with CK Designs architects to develop plans that took the focus of this space from beer to books.

Construction was undertaken by Edwards Construction and started in January this year.

What was the bar, betting area and bistro is now the home to a full range of library services, including free Wi-Fi and computer access, a variety of reading and study spaces, kids and youth zones and current newspapers and magazines.