Nationwide Building Society's commercial division and German partner bank Helaba teamed up to fund the private finance initiative rebuilding of Liverpool Central Library for Liverpool City Council.
Each provided £27m for the extensive project in the middle of one of the city's six World Heritage Sites, William Brown Street next to St George's Hall.
The scheme, designed by architects Austin-Smith:Lord, will feature new visitor facilities with improved access to the book collections, as well as purpose-built facilities for Liverpool's Record Office.
The Grade 2-listed sections of the library, including the facades and the Picton, Hornby and Oak Reading Rooms, will be restored. Some sections, built to repair bomb damage from the Second World War, will be demolished and rebuilt to make the most of the available space.
The new Central Library is scheduled to reopen in late 2012. The library closed in July and in the meantime a temporary library service has opened on the second floor of the World Museum Liverpool next door.
The project is being delivered by Inspire Partnership, a joint venture between Amber Infrastructure and Shepherd Construction.
Nationwide Commercial has recently supported other projects, refinancing four separate projects comprising 48 schools in Liverpool, Kirklees, Salford and Wigan.