Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Community Works!

Excellent news, following a vocal and very vigorous campaign mounted by COVEN and local residents, friends and supporters across the city, local councillors, our MP, local council officers, the Civic Trust and the Victorian Society, the former York Road Library is now being fitted with a temporary roof to prevent further damage to this unique building.

The work is expected to take around 10 days and will be monitored by Phil Ward, Team Leader Conservation at the Sustainable Development Unit (one of the officers instrumental in helping to secure this work).

This is, of course, great news for the area but it is only the beginning. It means that the building will be weatherproof and hopefully suffer no further deterioration caused by rain or snow damage but what is really needed is for this beautiful old building to find a modern purpose.

It is a shame that such a special building has been allowed to fall into this state but now a small start has been made on saving it we should build on our success. The site is in a prominent position on one of the main thoroughfares into the city and it is in the middle of the area earmarked for the prestigious All Saints Centre development.

This Victorian gem would make excellent community space, offices, cafe, gallery space or a combination of all of these or even dare we say it a library - so the fight goes on not only to save the old library but to bring it back into useful life and return it to its rightful place at the heart of our community.


  1. This is great news and just goes to show what can happen if the local community gets involved!

    Well done.

  2. Fantastic news!! I love this building: my grandad, who was a police man in this area many many years ago, he used to go for a bath at the end of his shift before going home! Good job people!

  3. This is marvellous news and shows how people power can move mountains.

    What mountain shall we choose to shift next?
    Nick Clegg and David Cameron are my personal choices.

  4. Is there going to be a library in the new building? Just a thought as to mountains to shift next...

    For the full list of library closures and handy map see
    For reasons to defend libraries, please see

    Well done, incidentally!

  5. That is, of course, our next campaign. The Old Library at present is owned, at least in part, by a failed property magnet who does not appear to have any interest in, or plans for, it at present.

    With the 'Library Consultation' underway it appears that Richmond Hill will be left without ANY permanent local library provision but instead fairly vague promises of 'mobile provision'.

    That this area, one of the poorest in the whole city, will be left without a Library is hardly news as the library we have at present, one very cramped room in the Sports Hall is grossly inadequate for the needs of the residents.

    Numbers attending the library are kept low, (but are, I believe, increasing) because most people who work cannot use the library as it is only open 17 hours a week and never at weekends or evenings.

    Libraries to poor communities like ours are not a luxury but a lifeline beyond price. People here do not have the money to buy expensive books or have internet access at home to the same level as residents in better off areas with excellent Library provision.

    We must get together to fight for this invaluable resouce.