Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Friday, 30 October 2009

Plans for library revamp unveiled

Artist impression of Central library
The library will be brought into the 21st Century, the council says

Work on the long-planned redevelopment of Liverpool's historic Central Library will finally begin in 2010.

Images of how the £50m transformation will look have been released by the city council after it named its preferred developer.

Inspire Partnership will oversee the restoration of the Grade II listed building, as well as the redevelopment of its post-war extensions.

Council leader Warren Bradley said it would create a "21st Century facility".

Central Library, on William Brown Street, has gradually fallen into disrepair over many decades and suffers from damp and a leaking roof.

'Stunning' building

Under the scheme, the listed parts of the building which date back to 1850 will be restored to their former glory.

The sections behind the façade - which were built in the 1950s and 1970s following World War II bomb damage - will be demolished and rebuilt.

Artist impression of Central library
A "literary walkway" will lead up to the entrance

The project includes a new home for the Liverpool Record Office, which contains some of the city's most historic treasures from the last 800 years - including its original 1207 charter.

Council leader Warren Bradley said: "This is the biggest ever single investment in the city's library service and will create a stunning building the whole city can be proud of.

"This scheme will enable us to upgrade and restore the much-loved historic parts of the building, creating a first-class 21st century facility which is right at the heart of the city's cultural quarter."

The plans include a new forecourt with outside cafe space, a rooftop terrace, meeting rooms and a 24-hour drop off point for books.

A "literary carpet" featuring the names of famous books will lead the way to the entrance, and the stonework and masonry will be restored and specially lit at night to complement the library among its neighbours including St George's Hall, the Walker Art Gallery, and World Museum Liverpool.

The building is due to close in June 2010, and will take three months to empty completely before construction work starts.

A full planning application will be made on 23 November followed by a public consultation.



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World-class library plans unveiled
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13 Sep 03 |  Merseyside


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