Liverpool, the city that opened the first public lending library in Europe (at the Lyceum, a gentlemen’s club) saw its Central Library reopened last 17th May after the works to restore this historic building (it was built in 1860) were finished.
It has taken three years and £50 million but the results are already showing: in a recent interview, Central Library manager David Stoker said since the building reopened in May 15,000 new borrowers had signed up. The council said it expected more than one million visitors to come through the library’s doors in the first 12 months, more than double the previous average figure.
Now, it has been awarded by the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) with the National Building Excellence Award. The judges highlighted the challenges the city faced in marrying the new build extension to the existing Grade II listed landmark.