Lister Drive Library
Site: Lister Drive Carnegie Library
Location: Tuebrook, Liverpool
Owner: Liverpool City Council
Lessee: Lister Steps
Plans are under way for the transfer of the historic and much-loved former Lister Drive Carnegie Library on a 125-year lease to the community-based charity Lister Steps.
The Grade II listed building will be completely renovated, following its closure in 2006 over safety concerns, with plans to reopen in 2017. This will give a new lease of life to a building donated to the community by wealthy industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
Lister Steps aim to continue to provide a centre for the community with family support and childcare services, volunteering and learning.
Lister Drive Library was one of a number of donations made by Andrew Carnegie at the turn of the 20th Century to the people of Liverpool.
It remained in use as a public library until 2006, when serious problems with the fabric of the building began to emerge, forcing its closure. Now after several years of dereliction, emergency works are taking place to deal with the wet and dry rot.
A successful model
The transfer will enable Lister Steps to move their organisation from Portakabins in a deprived suburb of Liverpool to this handsome listed building, helping to restore pride in the area and encourage a raft of other regeneration initiatives.
Founded 'by parents for parents' in 1997, Lister Steps have been delivering high-quality childcare services for over 15 years. They now plan to develop this impressive building into the Carnegie Community Hub Project.
This will allow Lister Steps to continue to provide a range of flexible and affordable childcare, including play schemes and respite care, and maintain their volunteering programme providing training in specialist skills and creating job opportunities in the local area.
Lister Steps were the winners of the Heritage Dragons event in 2012 organised by the Heritage Investment Working Group (HIWG) and received 180 hours of free professional advice from heritage regeneration experts.
This support has helped them to submit a successful National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) Round One funding application. They have now been given two years and a development grant of £224,000 from NLHF to help them submit a full proposal.
It is estimated that the full refurbishment will cost in the region of £4.5m. £100,000-worth of emergency holding works are being undertaken by the Council to deal with the wet and dry rot. Lister Steps expect that the completed building will open in 2017.