SOUTHEND’S new £27million library wants permission to sell alcohol until 1am during dozens of special events.

Drinks are set to be served inside the new Forum Southend library, due to open in Elmer Approach next month, and outside in the public square, where a big screen will show sports, arts and local events.

Mark Murphy, the council’s group manager for property services, thinks it’s a geat idea.

He said: “We are not running an off-licence or a pub.

“The drinks on offer will be part of our events programme.

“When we hold events in the building, and it’s appropriate to do so, we will look at what we can provide.”

Southend-on-Sea Forum Management, the organisation which will run the facility for its joint owners, Southend Council, Essex University and South Essex College, has applied to serve alcohol.

If granted, it will be allowed to serve alcohol inside from 8am until 1am, and outside, in Elmer Square, until 8pm or 11pm.

This would happen up to 36 times a year.