A Colne Valley landmark has been given a £65,000 boost for vital renovation work and secure the future of the library based there.
Marsden Mechanics is receiving the cash from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development to reorganise its ground floor.
The alterations will include the full refurbishment of the library - complete with a beautiful new curved ceiling - the creation of two new offices and new signs and lights outside.
The work is due to begin on Monday, February 19.
Mark Crowe, Chair of the Marsden Community Trust Board said: “We’re fantastically proud of this award which is a vote of confidence in the Mechanics and in our community. The work will have a huge impact on the building and help us secure its longer term financial viability.”
Diane Barkley, Chair of the Friends of Marsden Library, added: “Recent cuts to the library service mean that it is no longer able to contribute to the Mechanics’ running costs. This is a problem because Marsden Mechanics is a large building with a significant backlog of maintenance issues. By reconfiguring the library area and creating more lettable space the Trust is securing the long-term future of the library which the people of Marsden have made clear they want to remain at the heart of their Mechanics Institute.”
The work will take about six weeks and library hours will have to be reduced during that period.
Tom Lonsdale from the Trust Board, who will be overseeing the works, says disruption is inevitable.
He added: “We’ll do everything we can to help the library service and other regular users of the building. We’ve just got to remember that the impact on the building and its long-term future is going to be very exciting. We will have a lovely, new library space with natural daylight from windows which will once again be fully-revealed.”
The plan is to celebrate the opening of the space with a series of Library Gigs specially commissioned to encourage the creative talents of younger members of the community.
Diane said: “We think this is exactly the sort of thing we should be using our new library for out of hours. Marsden Mechanics is one of the few Mechanics Institutes which is still a public building and still used for the purposes it was created - cultural enrichment and public entertainment. What better way to celebrate this than by encouraging the future owners of this building to perform in our new library space?”