Plans have been approved to create a pharmacy and health advice centre at the Chestnut Centre in Deighton.

And the unique scheme, will include a make-over for the entrance area, to the existing centre as well as re-configuring the library.

Social Enterprize Fresh Horizons which runs the Chestnut Centre applied to Kirklees Council back in September for consent to open a pharmacy and health advice centre at the Deighton base.

But although the pharmacy will take up some footprint already used by the library, the team believes the new income will make the library’s survival more likely as Kirklees Council looks at its library provision across the borough.

And the library is growing in popularity. In 2013/13 there were 14,200 book issues, a rise of 13% which staff believe is linked to a community cinema scheme, with people borrowing books of films that have been shown.

Planning officers have since given the go-ahead to the new scheme and work is now underway for the transformation.

The pharmacy at the Chestnut Centre will employ five full time and two part-time staff and provide additional ‘footfall’ and income for Fresh Horizons.

The Social Enterprise can then reinvest the money back into the community.

The health service idea is also seen as a good link for the centre, which already has a number of health professionals working from it, including community midwives, a child and adolescent mental health service and weight management service.

The Chestnut Centre in Sheepridge.
The Chestnut Centre in Deighton
 

Fresh Horizons said in a report produced to planners: “We believe this additional service will enhance the health and wellbeing services currently offered to the local community and encourage joint initiatives from various providers.

“The pharmacy will be a source of information, advice and help to patients and cater for more vulnerable patients when other pharmacies might be closed.”

The Chestnut Centre is owned by Kirklees Council but managed by Fresh Horizons. However, there is an asset transfer bid made for the centre to become a social enterprise.

The pharmacy will be open for 40 to 50 hours a week and opening times will be published when it is up and running.