Vanessa Oakden, Curator of Community Archaeology at the Museum of Liverpool, and Jo Harrop from Placed talked about some of the activities we’ll be running over the next 12 months. Vanessa will be leading our archaeology activities which include recording the historic features of the building, a social history research project that will contribute to our heritage interpretation inside the building and help to determine the location for our final project – a community archaeological dig in the grounds of The Old Library. We’ll need lots of volunteers to help out and the Museum of Liverpool team will be providing training so keep an eye on our Volunteering page for how you can get involved.
Jo from Placed talked about the workshops for young people that we’ll be running with local schools next year. Through hands-on activities such as site analysis, design-drawing and model making, students get a taste of real world challenges for architects, designers and engineers working in the world of heritage regeneration. Placed will also be running a five day summer school in 2019 for 13-17 year olds focusing on historic libraries across Liverpool and how these can be regenerated for future use, raising aspirations and awareness of opportunities for careers in architecture, planning, heritage and the built environment. We’re really keen for young people from the local area to take part in these inspiring projects so look out for these exciting opportunities early next year.
Then it was over to the design team. Nick Berry from OMI Architects gave us a brief history of The Old Library and why it’s so important to bring the building back to life before handing over to Alan Gardner from Arcadis who is leading on the conservation elements of the project. Alan explained how we will be restoring some parts of the building and creating new interventions in others, making the best use of our budget and ensuring that the new spaces are fit for both our childcare and community services. Nick then gave us a detailed overview of the thinking behind the new plans, particularly in terms of how we can create a safe, private space for our childcare facilities whilst also making a welcoming and open area for the public side of the building that will be used by our local community.
Work is due to start on-site early next year and the build should take around 12 months so The Old Library will be fully open in 2020. We were really pleased to receive such positive feedback on the plans which we’ve been working on for so long and it was lovely to catch up with some longstanding supporters, as well as meeting new members of our local community who are keen to get involved. Thank you to everyone who came along and for the generous donations we received on the night.
Over the next few months, we’ll be going out to tender for the contractors who are going to make these plans a reality, recruiting new volunteers and organising our next community activities. Keep an eye on our Volunteering page and Events & Activities page to see what’s going on or join our mailing list to receive monthly project updates.
As always, thanks for your continued support for The Old Library project.