The New Langdale

The New Langdale @ Bispham completes

David McCourt

Blackpool residents are now benefiting from a day centre for adults with learning difficulties following a £1.1m project to refurbish the former Bispham Library.

The New Langdale @ Bispham was designed by architects Cassidy & Ashton and built by Eric Wright Construction, a division of the Eric Wright Group. The former library, built in the 1920s, has received a facelift and gained an extra 3,400 sq ft of space.

The community facility, commissioned by Blackpool Council, via the Local Education Partnership, is located at Bispham Road. The scheme has been funded by a joint partnership between Blackpool PCT and Blackpool Council.

Comprising a sensory studio with tactile toys and dimmable lighting, interactive white boards and two large flexible spaces, the centre includes a kitchen designed for disabled people with a multi-level breakfast bar and other accessible features.

The project required developers to facilitate the conversion of a heritage building and blend it with a modern facility.

The exterior of the building features a material called Rymex, an iridescent stainless steel product that provides contrasting looks in different weather conditions.

Barrie Balaam, site manager at Eric Wright Construction, said: "It was a pleasure to work on this part conversion, part new build project which will provide much needed facilities to members of the local community, and beyond, for many years to come."

Alistair Baines, director at Cassidy & Ashton, added: "This project is unlike any we have done before. The centre is unique to the area and has made great use of a space that has been loved by many for years."

The centre can accommodate between 20 to 30 people at any one time and provides accessible entry for large wheelchair users. The project included the landscaping of existing surrounding public open space to provide raised planting and seating.

Anita Cooper, day services manager, adult provider services at Blackpool Council, said: "We now have a building that reflects the value we place on adults with a learning disabilities in Blackpool. This enables our staff team to deliver a service in an environment that promotes wellbeing, sensory experiences, learning and development."

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