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£1m Accrington library revamp could be under way by next year
11:00am Saturday 21st July 2012 in News
A REVAMP of Accrington’s Carnegie Library building costing £1million could be in progress by next year.
Chiefs at Lancashire County Council have upgraded the council’s partial refurbishment scheme to a complete overhaul of the Grade II Listed building.
Bosses at County Hall said the building was in urgent need of repair and the importance of the building had led it to become their top priority for library refurbishment.
The building is considered one of Accrington’s architectural gems and as a Carnegie library, is an important part of UK history.
Carnegie Libraries were built across the UK with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie between 1883 and 1929. They have been credited with helping to make books available to the masses.
Schemes to improve the library have seen £250,000 spent on it of late.
However a review of the building has led the council to decide to spend up to £1million on the building, with additional funds sourced from the lottery and other grants.
The council is keen to progress the plans, which will see modern and updated facilities installed, due to expected delays with listed building planning consent.
The revamp will see a complete facelift of the building, which will include a new IT suite, moveable shelves for flexibility and a more open plan space.
Hyndburn Council leader Miles Parkinson said: “This is fantastic news for Accrington. At a time when most authorities are making cuts and closing libraries we are fortunate enough to have the county preserve one of our most important buildings.”
County Councillor Mike Calvert said: “The decision was made because the building badly needs it. It is falling apart and it is a listed building that can be brought back to it’s former glory.
“We also hope the modern IT suite and new features will create an amazing resource for the town.”
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