Lichfield Street Hub, Walsall

"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." Gill Heath, Staffordshire County cabinet member responsible for libraries
Completed
happy-face
9/10
Customer Satisfaction
users
£639k
Social value generated
money
80%
Local spend within 40 miles

Lichfield Street Hub, Walsall

Refurbishment to transform the Lichfield St. Central Library building to create a central hub, incorporating the library, learning centre, Local History Centre and increasing the utilisation of the floor plan from 40% to 100%.

Walsall Council strived to achieve 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 including many of its original features.

It was proposed that 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 works 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 levels.

A late addition to the project was the replacement of roof finishes to the 1906 section of the building where water ingress was identified as the source of the damage and deterioration caused to the ornate plasterwork below.

By refurbishing and remodelling the existing building the utilisation of the floor plan increased from 40% to 100%, culminating in

  • A smaller lending library area
  • A reduced reference library area
  • Incorporation of the Local History Centre
  • A shared reading and research area
  • Café
  • Wi-Fi lounge
  • New job / skills development and training support area
  • ICT suite to provide a learning link
  • A single entrance / reception
  • Public toilets, baby change and buggy park.

As part of their framework commitment to embedding extensive social value during all projects and beyond, Willmott Dixon used a strong local supply chain, ensuring spend remains local to the community in Walsall.

"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.”

Peter Owen, managing director, Willmott Dixon - Midlands

Project statistics

Project Value:£4.2 million
Client Satisfaction:9/10
Local Labour within 40 miles:76%
Local spend within 40 miles:80%
Social value generated:£639k
Waste diverted from landfill:100%
Frameworks: Major Works | England & Northern Ireland

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