Work to transform the grade two-listed Andrew Carnegie Library in Liverpool is set to begin at the start of 2019, according to architect OMI.
The building, currently in a state of disrepair, will be transformed into a new community hub operated by Lister Steps and called The Old Library, offering childcare, rentable meeting space, hot-desking, heritage activities, an events venue and training and volunteering opportunities for local people.
The project is backed by £3.9m from The Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as finance from Liverpool City Council, The Hemby Trust, Eleanor Rathbone Foundation, Key Fund and Power to Change.
Tenders are currently being sought from contractors, with an expected start on site early in the New Year.
The transformation will place insertions within the existing reading rooms, to create spaces for the diverse range of proposed uses whilst retaining the original listed characteristics.
After a 100-year life as a functioning library, the building, having been underfunded for a significant period, 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.
Nick Berry, director of OMI Architects, said: “The local support for this exciting project bodes well for the vision which has been developed by Lister Steps and the design team over the last few years.
“The success of the project will in large part be down to the adoption of the project by the local community. It is satisfying to help bring a building, which was once the corner stone of the local community, back into everyday use.
“Carnegie himself saw the need for this community to be given something to be proud of and the Old Library project will ensure that this aim is continued into the next generation.”
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