* Please note – The article below was released prior to South Sefton Development Trust changing its name to Regenerus
The Crosby community organisation that is looking to create a new future for the town’s Carnegie Library is to work with one of Sefton’s leading regeneration specialists on developing proposals for the historic building.
The Friends of Carnegie Library (FOCAL) are joining forces with Bootle-based South Sefton Development Trust in a bid to ensure that the 1905 architectural gem continues to be a local community asset.
South Sefton Development Trust is best known as the organisation that originally brought Antony Gormley’s ‘Iron Men’ to Crosby beach.
These days, as well as offering pre-employment and business skills training, and professional development and regeneration consultancy advice, the Development Trust also manages the landmark Investment Centre building in Bootle town centre.
The Grade II-listed Carnegie Library, which closed in December last year, is owned by Sefton Council who are expected to invite tenders from organisations wishing to lease the prominent building on College Road.
One of the key aims of FOCAL and Regenerus will be to consult with local residents and businesses to find out what they would like to see the building used for.
However, the partners already think it could house a mixed-use facility offering a smaller library, community meeting space, training areas and accommodation for micro businesses.
They also believe that a restored Carnegie Library would act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of the College Road area.
Graham Winckles, Chair of FOCAL, commented: “Our Steering Group and Trustees recognise the impressive track record and resources of South Sefton Development Trust and very much look forward to working with them.
“Andrew Carnegie’s original vision for the library was to promote wellbeing and extend access to education and opportunity,” added Mr Winckles.
“We believe this aspiration is equally relevant today and want to see the building that bears his name reborn as a vibrant community hub.”
South Sefton Development Trust Chief Executive, Cate Murphy, added: “We’re delighted to be working in partnership with FOCAL who have already done a great job in raising awareness of the library’s importance to Crosby’s heritage.
“It’s a fabulous building that has a special place in the hearts of many local residents and our aim now is to use our good offices to put together proposals that will ensure it remains a jewel in Crosby’s crown in the future.”