Day of Archaeology 2014 finds me working as a Heritage Development Officer for Lister Steps in Tuebrook, Liverpool.
Lister Steps have secured initial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to regenerate the Grade II listed West Derby Library on Lister Drive, Tuebrook.
West Derby Library was established with funding from an Andrew Carnegie (Philanthropist and Industrialist) grant, and opened in 1905. The library is a one-storey brick built structure with stone dressings, a slate roof and an octagonal turret and was designed by Thomas Shelmerdine. The library originally contained a lending library and a number of reading rooms. Sadly, following health and safety concerns, the library closed in 2006 and has remained vacant since. This period of un-occupation has resulted in the library being subject to theft, vandalism and neglect. Items stolen from the library include lead flashings, the glazing to roof lights and feature ridge tiles. There has been substantial rainwater ingress which has severely damaged the timber structure and internal decorative plasterwork and joinery and dry rot is common throughout the building.
The ‘Lister Steps Carnegie Community Hub’ project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, is currently in its development stage, however once completed Lister Steps aim to relocate their existing childcare services into the building. The regenerated building will also serve as a centre for community engagement, a ‘hub’ offering refreshments, activities and training opportunities for the local community and visitors.
The project will shortly begin a period of consultation with stakeholders and members of the community. The project aims to host a number of heritage activities in the near future such as tours of the library and grounds, an oral history project and training opportunities.
I am so excited about this fantastic project. The end result will have saved a historic building from further deterioration and provided a much needed community led center for engagement, in addition to the skills gained and experiences of the project itself.
I welcome all comments, suggestions and funding for the project!
Heritage Development Officer
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