Creating a central hub, incorporating the library, learning centre and the local history centre in Walsall
- Breathing new life into grade 2 listed building
- Creating cultural hub for Walsall
- 6669 hours dedicated to supporting young people into work
- 100% waste diverted from landfill
Our team have worked with Walsall Metropolitan Council to create a flagship, central hub of cultural and social learning.
The project incorporates the central library, local history and archive collections whilst restoring the Lichfield Street Central Library building back to its former glory and restoring many of its original features.
The Lichfield Street building was remodelled and refurbished, transforming the Grade II listed building to incorporate the local history centre and archives, lending, reference and children’s libraries, a café and ICT lounge; creating a single leisure, cultural and learning hub.
The incorporation of the local history centre within the Lichfield Street hub was a key element to the project, not only in terms of creating the central hub but also to enable the additional funding from the sale of the existing Local History Centre on Essex Street.
The project, which was procured through the Scape National Construction Framework, consisted of demolition and strip out of the former museum and remodelling of the 1965 section of the building to incorporate a 4 hour fire rated store for the local history and archive centre and refurbishment of the 1906 build library including the ornate ceilings located on the ground and first floor.
By refurbishing and remodelling the existing building use of the floor space increased from 40% to 100% including:
- A lending library area
- Reference library area
- Local history centre
- Shared reading and research area
- Wi-fi lounge
- Skills development and training area
- Entrance reception
- Toilets, baby change area
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County cabinet member responsible for libraries, said:
“Not only does it guarantee a library in the heart of Lichfield for the next 30 years, the long-term lease underpins the future of this magnificent building by allowing the Guild of St Mary’s to develop the arts and performance side.
“This combined offer will be a great thing for residents, but also increase footfall and support nearby shops and businesses.”
Peter Owen, managing director of Willmott Dixon in the Midlands said:
“This was a great project to be involved in, creating a new cultural hub for Walsall in a historic grade 2 listed building. Hopefully many generations to come can enjoy the facility.”