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Progress for Erith's Carnegie Building following National Lottery funding

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 June 2018

Restoration of the Carnegie Building. Picture: Bexley Council

Restoration of the Carnegie Building. Picture: Bexley Council

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Erith's iconic old library the Carnegie Building, which is being worked on as part of a regeneration project, has entered the next stage of development thanks to National Lottery funding.

The project has received funding from the National Lottery. Picture: Bexley CouncilThe project has received funding from the National Lottery. Picture: Bexley Council

Bexley Council and The Exchange Erith Ltd have received the funding for the building, which is set to partially reopen in September.

Made possible by National Lottery players and awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the second stage of the project aims to complete the repair and renewal work required to once again establish the building at the heart of the community.

The £122,900 will be used to help project organisers progress their plans to apply for a full grant of £980,000 in 12 months’ time.

During this period, The Exchange will be fundraising for an additional £300,000 to support the full grant.

The project has received funding from the National Lottery. Picture: Bexley CouncilThe project has received funding from the National Lottery. Picture: Bexley Council

It comes in addition to the £1.6m already spent on replacing the roof of the building and refurbishing the basement.

When the building reopens later in the year, it will become a space for creativity and community – hosting workshops, debates, screenings and more.

The Conversation Room is expected to open first, and will become the home for the Erith Think Tank – a place where the community can come together to discuss local issues.

Bexley Council leader Cllr Teresa O’Neill said: “We recognise the importance of this landmark to local residents and are delighted that with the support of the National Lottery, we can continue to progress the project to renew this beautiful building.”

The building has sat at the gateway to Erith since 1906, and many residents have memories of the building as the town’s library and museum.

Sarah Batten, co-director of The Exchange, said: “Erith’s Carnegie Building represents such significance in our town’s history, acting as a community focal point for over 100 years. With this support, we are a step closer to preserving it for another century.”

The restoration is part of London Borough of Bexley’s wider growth plans, with a programme of regeneration in Erith aimed at developing the area into a thriving riverside community.

For more information visit www.greatererith.com.

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