WORK is pressing head to make a series of changes at Christchurch library ahead of plans to sell off the civic offices.

BCP Council has submitted a planning application to make various alterations to the listed building in High Street.

If approved, a new registrar's office and customer service centre will be created to provide a hub for the local authority in the town centre.

The proposals also include the installation of a public cash machine, a new reception counter, a security desk and public accessible computer facilities.

A BCP Council spokesperson said: “Changes are being planned for Christchurch library in order to accommodate a new BCP Customer Service Centre within the building which will operate alongside the current library service and serve local residents.

"This forms part of the council’s estates and accommodation project which will lead to the council consolidating its main office requirements into the former Bournemouth Town Hall, and the subsequent disposal of the former civic offices in Christchurch and Poole.

"The costs of the changes to the library are still being finalised but will be funded from agreed budgets identified to support the wider accommodation project.”

The library building dates back to the 19th century and received Grade II listed status in 1976.

The former townhouse was occupied by members of the Druitt family, who were keen historians and shaped many areas of the town at the time.

It was extended around 1870 and operated as a library since the 1950s, a statement from Elaine Milton Heritage & Planning Limited says.

The plans would see two office spaces within he front of the building on the ground floor, with glazed doors

The statement says: "The alterations required are minor in scale and nature. Limited historic fabric would be lost and most of the proposals would be light-touch and reversible. The internal character of the building would be unharmed.

"The proposed alterations would enable the public building to diversify and extend its services to the local community."

As reported, BCP Council's investment in creating a single headquarters at the town hall in Bournemouth are due to be completed by the end of the year.

Once work on the 'BCP Civic Centre' is finished, the civic offices in Christchurch, as well as Poole's civic centre, would be sold.

The Bridge Street site had been home to Christchurch Borough Council prior to the Dorset local government reorganisation in 2019.