Skip to navigation | Skip to content

Dec 15

Lister Drive Library rebuilding plan wins £3.9m lottery cash

Assets, North West region

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.”


  1. Valerie Price

    Posted 16/12/16 at 12:34 pm  |  Permalink

    How Brilliant this is. Lister Drive was where I went swimming (I say that though I didn’t succeed in learning until I was 21). Over the years seeing it in the condition it was so upsetting…so I think this is brilliant.

    To make it into a Community Hub is really fantastic. I believe there is a growing move by the communities and a real energy and desire to make the efforts to create a place where they can feel pride. Loneliness is the greatest problem and creating places like this can make such a difference.

    • Yvonne McKeown

      Posted 04/01/17 at 2:49 pm  |  Permalink

      Hi Valerie,

      Thank you for your comment! We think it’s fantastic that such a well remembered and cherished heritage building is being saved from ruin – especially as it will now benefit the whole community once again!

      Best wishes,


  2. John C

    Posted 25/12/16 at 11:16 am  |  Permalink

    Doesn’t sound like a library. I think Andrew Carnegie, who loved libraries and credited them for his great fortune, is now rolling uncomfortably in his grave.

    • Yvonne McKeown

      Posted 04/01/17 at 3:08 pm  |  Permalink

      Hi John,

      Thank you for your comment and I hope you had a lovely Christmas!

      Libraries are buildings filled with knowledge, inspiration and opportunity. We think it’s fantastic that a crumbling and derelict heritage building will now be regenerated for the community – giving knowledge, inspiration and opportunity to all!

      We’re sure if Andrew Carnegie knew his building had been saved from ruin and would now once again be giving those gifts to the community a century later it’s something he’d be proud of.

      Thanks once again for your comment and we wish you a very Happy New Year! :)

      Best wishes,


Leave a Reply to Yvonne McKeown Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *