THE new library for a Winchester estate will open this month following the closure of the previous branch.

The service for Stanmore will relocate to the Carroll Centre in nearby Somers Close.

The county council closed the Wavell Way branch as it was one of the least-used and smallest libraries in Hampshire, with an average of 106 borrowers a month. Critics said the council had through limited opening hours made closure inevitable.

The new library services will be opened on January 21, by county council leader, Ken Thornber.

Subject to work being completed on the site, it is hoped that the centre may however be able to welcome library users in advance of the official opening date.

Hampshire Library Service will continue to provide the books and resources, including a self-service kiosk at The Carroll Centre so people can issue and return books themselves, but the library itself will be run by the centre.

The previous branch cost £36,000 a year to run – or around £15 per visit.