One of UK's largest library developments moves forward
Plans to restore and transform Liverpool Central Library have been given the green light by the City Council’s planning department. The project, which will be one of the UK’s biggest library redevelopments, has been designed by Austin-Smith:Lord. It is hoped that the £50m scheme will be on-site this summer.
Work will involve restoring the Grade ll listed parts of the building which date back to 1850, including the Picton, Hornby and Oak Reading Rooms. The existing 1950’s and 1970’s facilities will also be replaced to deliver a library for the 21st century, including provision of the latest IT equipment for library users to enjoy. A key part of the project will also be the provision of a state-of-the-art archive facility for storing some of Liverpool’s most historic treasures.
The new look Central Library, which is located on William Brown Street in Liverpool will also include a new entrance to the main library, including a ‘literary carpet’, five new floors with better access including escalators, lifts, toilets, meeting rooms and a café, a new rooftop atrium and terrace overlooking St. John’s Gardens, a new children’s zone and new light wells at the front and rear.
Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said: "We have been developing this project for several years, and to get planning permission and listed building consent is a major milestone. This scheme will enable us to upgrade and restore the much loved historic parts of the building, creating a first-class 21st century facility the whole city can be proud of.’’
Ben Aston, associate at Austin-Smith: Lord, added: “It’s a testament to the drive and focus of all of the scheme’s partners that a project of this scale has moved along so quickly. Following a comprehensive consultation exercise, we’ve arrived at a design which strikes a fitting balance between celebrating the library’s original architecture and introducing new 21st century spaces. The end result will offer an improved visitor experience and another enhanced cultural and civic attraction for Liverpool to be proud of.”