Hammersmith Library Set for Two Million Pound Revamp

Borough's archives to be housed in upgraded building


Hammersmith Library is set for a £2million revamp and will become the permanent home of the borough’s archives.

Hammersmith and Fulham Council says it has plans to take the best elements of the 1905 Grade II listed Hammersmith Library and combine it with the modern feel of the new and hugely popular Shepherd's Bush Library.

Shepherd's Bush Library opened at Westfield in September 2009 and has enjoyed unparalleled success in a time when library usage across the country is falling.

The Shepherd's Bush service is branded as "More than a Library!" because it offers residents a variety of services under one roof. The council wants to apply that ethos to Hammersmith Library, on Shepherds Bush Road.

H & F Council says work is likely to begin before the end of the year and improvements will include:

• New books
• Self-service terminals installed to reduce queues and customer waiting
• Wi-Fi installed
• A library that is more attractive and welcoming
• New shelving, shelf guiding and furniture on the ground floor including comfortable seating areas
• Improved access for disabled people

The borough’s archives and local studies collection are currently housed at the Lila Huset on Talgarth Road, for which the lease expires in 2016. The council intends that the archives will be housed at the refurbished Hammersmith Library, with greatly increased public access.

The council hopes to open a temporary library at 181 King Street throughout the duration of the works.

The council is ploughing £340,000 into the scheme, with the remainder funded through Section 106 agreements with the developer of the Hammersmith Grove NCP site, Development Securities and the developer of the Kings Mall car park site, St George.

Secton 106 agreements are used to ensure that developers contribute to local neighbourhood improvements once planning permission has been granted.

Cllr Greg Smith, H&F Council deputy leader says : "Hammersmith Town Centre is currently undergoing something of a renaissance, with hundreds of news homes and new retail space recently achieving planning permission, the Lyric Theatre being extended and the new King Street proposals being warmly received by local people. A modern, refurbished library in Hammersmith will prove to be another feather in the cap."

Shepherd's Bush Road itself is also seeing major changes, with Japanese style noodle chain Wagamama moving into the former site of the Old Fire Station and the site of the Hammersmith Palais being redeveloped by Pure Student Living, to September as Pure Hammersmith, providing accommodation for 418 students.


April 2, 2013