Liverpool City Council has appointed HH Smith & Sons to start work on the conversion of the former Andrew Carnegie Library into a community hub and childcare facility for charity Lister Steps.
Designed by OMI Architects and backed by a £3.9m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the building will offer childcare, rentable meeting space, hot-desking, heritage activities, an events venue and training and volunteering opportunities for local people.
Liverpool City Council owns the building and is contributing £500,000 to the scheme.
HH Smith have carried out a number of restoration projects including Gorton Monastery, Norton Priory, Quarry Bank Mill, The Met Theatre in Bury, and is currently working on listed buildings including Halle St Peter, Manchester and First White Cloth Hall, Leeds. The Lister Steps project is due to start on 1 April and is expected to take 12 months to complete.
The restoration will place insertions within the existing reading rooms, to create spaces for the various proposed uses while retaining the original listed features.
After a 100-year life as a functioning library, the building was underfunded for a significant period and had to be closed for health and safety reasons. Unoccupied, the library was subject to theft, vandalism and neglect and is listed on Liverpool’s Buildings at Risk register.
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