Work is to begin on a multi-million pound transformation of a derelict former library into a new community centre in Liverpool.
The Grade II-listed building, which is owned by Liverpool City Council, has been vacant since 2006.
The restoration project has recently obtained £3.9m of Heritage Lottery grant funding which will see the former Andrew Carnegie West Derby Library on Lister Drive given a new lease of life.
Lister Steps has been providing childcare and family support to local residents for the past 20 years but has always intended to expand the services it offers to the wider community.
Working in partnership with the city council, Lister Steps has secured the services of architectural firm OMI and a specialist design team who will commence work immediately to oversee the restoration of the building.
The Old Library will generate new jobs and training opportunities, it will host a licensed café, an events space, an affordable childcare service provided by Lister Steps charity, a healthy food takeaway, a co-working space and facilities to help local people socialise, learn new skills and hobbies.
Gaynor Williams, CEO at Lister Steps, says: “This is a bright new chapter for the area, and one that we’re really excited to be involved in.
“When Andrew Carnegie opened the library in 1905, he envisioned that it would be something that absolutely everyone in the area could benefit from and be proud of.
“Now, thanks to National Lottery players and Heritage Lottery Fund Lister Steps are able to continue carrying out that vision.”
Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, adds: “I’m delighted that work is to begin on transforming the old Lister Drive library into a vibrant new community centre.
“Lister Steps have been a fantastic asset in West Derby and this new centre will provide them with a platform to develop their skills and support programmes and reach out and transform many more lives.”