Restoration scheme on show at library

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Restoration work on Tuebrook library. Pic © Scarlett O’Toole JMU Journalism

A former library briefly reopened its doors to the local community on Saturday, allowing the public to see the latest progress on the restoration of the Grade II listed building.

For the first time since its closure in 2006, people could gain partial access to the first floor of Lister Drive Library, via a new staircase.

Last year, community-based childcare charity, Lister Steps, was chosen to take on the former Andrew Carnegie library.

Olivia Johnson, Community Engagement Manager at Lister Steps, told JMU Journalism: “Lister Steps, with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, have been able to get some plans together to restore this building for community use and bring it back to somewhere that everyone can enjoy.

“The idea of this open day is that people can come and see how we’re getting along, ask their questions and tell us their ideas.”

The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded £3.95 million to the project and Liverpool City Council also contributed £500,000 to the scheme.

YouTube: Scarlett O’Toole

Once finished, the old library is expected to generate six new jobs. It will house Lister Steps’ family support services, as well as a café, events space, a healthy food takeaway and a co-working area for people to learn new skills.

Ms Johnson told JMU Journalism: “Hopefully it’s going to be a place that everyone in the community can enjoy. We’re going to have lots of different events and activities going on that will appeal to lots of different people.

“We can have training opportunities, social events and business support.”

The facility was originally due to open in spring 2020 but Lister Steps has faced some issues with rot in the building, which has caused delays.

They now aim to open in summer next year.

About Scarlett O'Toole, JMU Journalism