The library of the future is to launch in Liverpool tomorrow (Tuesday, 21st March).
Previously Spellow Library, situated in the heart of Walton in North Liverpool, was open just three days a week and typical for a 1960s building had poor accessibility, no toilets and limited services.
Now following a radical, community-led makeover – the renamed Spellow Hub will be the first facility of its kind in the north of England to offer a complete “education to employment” service for people of all abilities.
Improving the accessibility of the County Road building was a key priority for the project, enabling people to visit the revamped hub who previously would have been unable.
Fitted with a new ramped entrance, platform lift and induction loop for hearing aid users, the building has been fitted with a Changing Place provision, providing a wheelchair accessible toilet, ceiling hoist and an adjustable changing bed.
Spellow Hub will be open six days a week, Monday to Saturday, offering:
Library services – with full digital access, including free use of tablets (Self-service on Tuesday and Friday).
An enterprise business service.
Training and skills programmes for long term unemployed.
Flexible spaces for learning i.e. coding workshops, parent & toddler groups etc.
A One Stop Shop to access Council services – open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4pm.
Art gallery fixtures to celebrate local creativity.
The transformational refurbishment, funded by Mayor Steve Rotheram’s Liverpool City Region Town Centre Fund, which has led to a raft of improvements to the County ward, has also seen more than a fifth of the building previously used for back office storage unlocked for community use.
It’s opening is seen as a vital step in the regeneration of the area which lies in the third most deprived ward in the UK and is also set to be affected by Everton FC’s move away from nearby Goodison Park in the next two years.
Spellow Hub will officially open with a gala event, attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, which will see a host of activities and demonstrations from key partners and school children throughout the day.
The opening coincides with World Poetry Day and will include a showcase of “Poetry on the Pillar”, a Culture Liverpool project which saw local young people create poems and artwork which recently brightened up the Queens Drive underpass which lies half a mile from Spellow Hub.
It has funded masterplan strategies, public realm improvements, physical and digital infrastructure, business support, town centre management and events and marketing activities in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.