Locality member Lister Steps have been awarded £3.9m from the Heritage Lottery Fund to save a historic library in Liverpool.
They will now convert the derelict Lister Drive Library in Tuebrook into a thriving multi-purpose community hub, including a café and healthy takeaway. The hub will also feature an events space and offer childcare services and volunteering opportunities for the community.
After winning the Heritage Dragons event in 2012 organised by the Heritage Investment Working Group (HIWG), Lister Steps received 180 hours of free professional advice from heritage-regeneration agencies – including expert support from Locality. This support has helped Lister Steps to submit their successful Heritage Lottery application.
The announcement is particularly significant for the building as it marks Andrew Carnegie’s 181st birthday. The Scottish-American became one of the wealthiest men in the world through the growth and success of the steel industry during the 19th Century.
He used some of his wealth to build thousands of libraries around the world – one of them being the Lister Drive Library in Liverpool.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Gaynor Williams, Chief Executive of Lister Steps, said:
“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 the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lister Steps are able to continue carrying out that vision.”
“It will also be a place to help local entrepreneurs get their big ideas off the ground, as well as a community space for weddings, celebrations, concerts, theatre, conferences and local events. It truly is something for everyone.”