Celebrations at the opening of the new Passmore Edwards Centre in Newton Abbot

Posted on: 23 July 2012

The Passmore Edwards Centre in Newton Abbot was officially opened by Devon County Council Chairman Jerry Brook this week following an ambitious redevelopment project to turn it into a new multi-service facility.

The Grade II listed building, which is a landmark in the town, has been the subject of a £2.8million investment to create a new generation of community facilities that house a number of important local services conveniently under one roof.

Named by the community in honour of the Victorian philanthropist John Passmore Edwards who gave the building to the town over 100 years ago, it now houses a modern 21st century library, adult and community learning facility, and services that are supporting people with learning disabilities, as well as an IT suite, WIFI technology, café and meeting rooms available for local groups to use.

Passmore official opening group pictureA special ceremony to mark the occasion was attended by local MP Anne Marie Morris, Devon County Council leader John Hart and Cllr Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities who took the opportunity to thank the many people who worked on the project, including the local community who took part ion the consultation sessions and were an important part of the design process.

Cllr Roger Croad said:

“This ambitious redevelopment has been a real partnership project, and throughout I have been pleased to see how well everyone has worked closely together to make sure we deliver this excellent up to date facility whilst carefully considering the age and historical significance of this landmark building, which is over 100 years old and Grade II listed.

“The Government’s spending review gave a clear indication that Councils are expected to deliver more for less money. To do that we have to make sure that we get full value out of every pound spent, which means maximising the use of our buildings where we can.

Cllr Croad speech“This Centre is part of a new generation of community facilities that house a number of important local services conveniently under one roof, and reflects our commitment to providing residents with better facilities to meet their changing needs, particularly in rapidly growing communities such as Newton Abbot.

“This project has ensured that the local community have better access to information, learning and culture for the future, and all with the added bonus of reinvigorating a very special and much loved building in the heart of the town.”

Have you visited the Passmore Edwards Centre yet? There are lots of photos on the News Centre here. Let us know what you think.

Find out more about what’s going on at the Passmore Edwards Centre online at

3 comments on “Celebrations at the opening of the new Passmore Edwards Centre in Newton Abbot

  1. Dean Evans says:

    I was pleased to be invited to the reopening. Both Devon County Council and the developers are to be congratulated on such a wonderful restoration. I am sure that the original architect, Silvanus Trevail, and the donor, Passmore Edwards, would have been pleased with the result, a light, colourful and welcoming ambience. The Community can be justifiably proud of their “new” library.

  2. Ian Cox says:

    Sad that the library has been blighted by out of service and malfunctioning self-service machines for months now, with no end in sight. And no manual back up in place! £2.8m of public money and we still don’t have a decent library service in Newton Abbot.

    • Devon Newscentre says:

      Thanks for your comment Ian.

      The self-service kiosks at the Passmore Edwards Centre have not been out of order at any time since the Centre opened in June.

      Occasionally the alarms at the Centre are set off by stock returned to Newton Abbot from other libraries which do not have self service machines as the items have not had their security tags re-programmed. This is not a fault with the machines. Staff are working to re-programme the tags as and when stock is returned.

      We have self-service kiosks in 20 libraries across Devon and have a very high reliability rates from this technology.

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