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Bold plan for £4/5 million “heritage hub”

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A BOLD plan to create a £4-5 million “Heritage Hub” in the existing Warrington Central Library building was unveiled today.

Sister organisations LiveWire and Culture Warrington are working together in a bid to expand their library and heritage services in the borough by 2019.

The library looks to increase participation and its offer by expanding the lending library from the Grade II listed building it currently shares with Warrington Museum and Art Gallery on Museum Street, into the heart of the town centre next year.jan-souness.jpg

Jan Souness, managing director of the two organisations, (pictured right) said: “LiveWire and Culture Warrington both share the same aim of improving the wellbeing of residents in Warrington and we believe that through expanding our library offer and providing more opportunities for people to explore their heritage and culture, we will be able to offer a greaternumber of activities that improve wellbeing.

“Expanding our library into a central town centre location will allow LiveWire to bring its library offer into the 21st century, providing a modern, exciting and interactive environment for users so they can use the library space differently and for longer.”

A new library venue will also allow the organisation to provide a larger digital offer to reflect the digital age and remain relevant in the future.

The new building will be easier for users to access as it is closer to transport links and would be able to offer have longer opening hours.

Plans for a Heritage Hub would add to the existing offer already provided by Culture Warrington, giving residents more opportunities to access their heritage and the history of the town. It will also serve as a base for outreach activities that the organisation plans to deliver in localcommunities as well as linking to LiveWire hubs across the town.

New gallery space would also be developed in the hub and learning spaces would be created which could be used by local schools to teach young people about Warrington’s rich history.

Janice Hayes, collections heritage and archives manager at Culture Warrington, said, “A major part of Culture Warrington’s 2016-2020 Business Plan is to take culture and heritage out into different communities in order to improve the wellbeing of residents in the town and create pride in the town’s rich heritage.

“A Heritage Hub would not only provide opportunities for Warrington residents to access their heritage and history in the town centre but provide space for local groups who want to help add to the town’s heritage records.”

Culture Warrington, with its proven track record of securing funding, will apply to the Heritage Lottery Fund and other grant making organisations next year to fund the £4-5 million project and if their application successful, work will begin to create the Heritage Hub in early 2018.kate hannon

Cllr Kate Hannon, (pictured right) the  borough council’s lead member for leisure, community and culture said: “These planned new developments will be a major boost for the town and will further help us meet our objective of ensuring Warrington residents lead healthy and happy lifestyles.

“A town centre library with an up-to-date offer will engage with families and young people who can combine their trip to the town centre with an easily accessible visit to a modern library which provides the latest digital technology. Furthermore, a Heritage Hub that acts as a base for activities delivered across different neighbourhoods will help build strong, active and resilient communities.”

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8 Comments

  1. Exactly where in the town centre is the library going to locate to? In the above article it says “new venue” and “new building”. Is it to be a brand new building or is it to be a conversion of a present building?

  2. I’m not sure which document or news story I read it in Sha but I’m 99% sure I remember seeing mention of offices and a new library in the plans for the Time Square/Bridge Street Quarter re-development. I’m sure it was something like.. once the traders move from the new temporary market into the ‘Boots’ market the temp one will become offices and a library. I’ll try and find it tomorrow as I’m too sleepy now.
    Have to say though I like the idea of having a Heritage Hub, not sure I can wait 3 years for it though 🙁

  3. What! in that depressing shed! How can something that councillors themselves have described as “bland and uninspiring” contribute to healthy and happy lifestyles? The people getting healthy and happy lifestyles out of this will be the talentless architects who designed it and the developers who throw it up! Why bother demolishing the market? for all it’s possible faults it would still be a better alternative than “The Bland Box!”

  4. The ‘Heritage Hub’ sounds like a good idea – but a clearer explanation of what it would be needs to be given. I’ve thought for a while that the present library is too small for today’s needs and that it should be used as a local history library and a new one should be built. So I was initially quite excited by the news.
    However I’ve seen ‘proposals’ for the conversion to the ‘Hub’. The later extension to the original library will be removed and a new section built in it’s place – no problem with the idea but I’ve not seen what the new extension will look like yet. But I have seen what’s planned for the inside of the old library – 21st century trash! and outside, facing Museum St a glass/metal monstrosity to be tacked on! Wanton desecration of one of the finest buildings in Warrington! Why is it when there’s a chance for something wonderful to happen in the town, dreams have to be dashed ? If these grotesque plans are not changed another beautiful building will be ruined and it will all be just a waste of heritage lottery money that could have gone elsewhere and been used for the purpose it’s truly meant. To squander heritage funds on providing opportunities for grasping developers and the tasteless tat brigade would be disgraceful! It could only happen in Warrington!

    • Sha, where have you seen the plans for the alterations to the inside of the existing library and the metal/glass extension etc. Can you point me in the right direction please 😀

  5. Diz, the proposed plans I’ve seen have been drawn up by Buttress Architects for Culture Warrington. I think the easiest way for you to get hold of them would probably be to contact Culture Warrington.

  6. The outlined “Bold Plans” for this monstrosity are illustrated on “Livewire and council propose £16m neighbourhood hub for …www.liverpoolecho.co.uk › News › Business › Warrington”. I have to agree with Sha it will be curtain walled characterless calamity. It engenders little if any feeling of culture, and does not hark back to the rich industrial history of this town. If this scheme gets the stamp of approval from Culture Warrington, the cultural credentials of that organisation will be called into question. If the interior matches the external facades it will indeed be grotesque.

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