Watford Central Library has been given a new lease of life with a £400,000 makeover.

New facilities at the Hempstead Road building include a state-of-the-art “creator space” – a first for libraries in Hertfordshire – filled with cutting edge technology such as tablet computers and 3D printers available for public use.

Charges for the equipment vary but are being kept “affordable”. For example, a 3D printer costs just £5 per hour to use.

Russel Barrow, area librarian for west Hertfordshire, said the creator space was an “inspiring” modern addition contained within a classic 1920s exterior.

“Outside it’s a traditional building from 1928 but inside it’s an inspiring 21st Century library,” he said.

“It’s been completely updated and refreshed. I hope people find it an inspiring place where they can create using digital tech.

“The feedback we have been getting from people is that they just say ‘wow’. That is exactly what we are trying to achieve.”

Much of the £400,000 renovation cost has been supplied through Section 106 agreements – money paid by housing developers to supply infrastructure – with Hertfordshire County Council also donating additional funds.

The first phase of the renovation project began in June, with the creative space opening for business for the first time on Monday.

The final stage – a facelift of the library’s entrance to include a disabled access ramp – is due to begin “imminently”.

A launch weekend to showcase the sparkling new facilities will take place on Saturday and Sunday, with live music, a comic art masterclass, and a sock puppet performance of Shakespeare.

“We have held open mic nights at the library before, which proved to be very popular,” said Mr Barrow.

“It gets people looking at the library with new eyes and, if that encourages people to come back in, then that is brilliant.”

Councillor Teresa Heritage, responsible for libraries, said: “We have listened to residents who told us that they wanted their libraries to be vibrant and capable of delivering a modern service.

“We are really excited about the refurbishment of Watford library, including the launch of the new creator space facility.”