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Work started on historic Erith building

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 March 2018

The roof of the building currently. Picture: Bexley Council

The roof of the building currently. Picture: Bexley Council

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Work has begun to replace the roof of Erith’s Carnegie building, which will be stripped back to its timber frame during the next few weeks.

Basement of the Caneige building. Picture: Bexley councilBasement of the Caneige building. Picture: Bexley council

Hopes were initially high for the iconic building’s roof to be repaired, however investigations showed that all of it needed to be replaced.

Bexley council recognises the importance of the building to the local community, and so will ensure that this happens.

Replacing the roof now will also mean that it is preserved for another 100 years rather than risk needing more repairs in coming decades.

The cleaning work on the exterior of the building is now complete and over 50 years of grime has been removed.

Ground floor of the building. Picture: Bexley councilGround floor of the building. Picture: Bexley council

Work on the interior of the building is also progressing.

Lengard, the specialist refurbishment and heritage contractor who are carrying out the work, have removed several walls in the basement to create a more open plan community space.

The newly refurbished basement will be managed by local company, The Exchange Ltd, when it opens in late summer.

It will be a lighter, brighter and more accessible space and will house ‘The Conversation Room’ an area for creativity and community, hosting workshops, debates, screenings and much more as well as ‘The Bookstore’ a fantastic new cafe and bar.

Cllr Linda Bailey, Bexley’s cabinet member for regeneration and growth, said: “These are exciting times for Erith.

“I am delighted that work on this beautiful building is progressing and that we have been able to find the additional funds needed to replace the roof.

“We recognise the importance of this landmark to people in the Borough and are looking forward to it opening in the summer as a community arts and events space.”

Erith will be one of the first places in the borough to benefit from the council’s ambitious growth plans, with a programme of regeneration aimed at developing the area into a thriving riverside community.

The aim is to create an active town centre that can make the most of Erith’s unique setting by the River Thames.

Improvements to the building are funded by Bexley council and partners, including the Mayor of London.

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