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24/11/2021

Work To Begin To Restore Crown Street Library Building

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Work to restore and repair Darlington Library's main branch in the town centre is to begin at the end of November.

The Grade II listed building on Crown Street will be brought back to its former glory with a 15-month restoration programme that will include the roof covering and key heritage features such as decorative plasterwork.

There will also be improvements to the library's digital infrastructure and a general refresh of the internal area.

Public consultations, carried out as part of the pre-planning process, have been instrumental in developing the new internal design, which will see the retention and return of some original heritage features throughout the building.

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Digital infrastructure improvements will provide access to upgraded technology and the building’s mechanical and electrical systems will be overhauled to improve functionality and energy efficiency.

The Crown Street Art Gallery will be retained with a dedicated area to showcase pieces from the Borough Art Collection. Toilet facilities will be modernised with additional facilities including a fully accessible toilet and a family-friendly space.

Decoration will be refreshed throughout, and consideration will be made to attract a more diverse audience with areas for school and education groups as well as older people.

Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services, said: "This is an exciting new chapter for Darlington Library’s Crown Street building, which dates back to 1885. We've worked closely with library users and others to develop a programme of restoration that will retain many of its historic features while also upgrading facilities for the modern age.

"Obviously, some areas of the library will need to be closed while work is carried out and we would ask users to be patient during this period. Our staff have worked tirelessly during the Covid 19 pandemic to maintain as many services a possible and I have no doubt they will rise to the latest challenge as we work to bring you a new, revitalised library."

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