Phase 1 works complete at Erith’s Old Carnegie Library

The first phase of refurbishment work on Erith’s iconic Carnegie Building is complete. Local company, The Exchange, is set to officially occupy the building from 1 February.

Council officers have worked closely with Historic England and The Exchange to ensure that the refurbishment of the lower ground area has been carried out in a way that preserves the character of the building. The improvements which also include the restoration of the weathervane and full replacement of the roof of the building, have been funded by London Borough of Bexley and the Mayor of London as part of its partnership project, the ‘Greater Erith Programme’.

Following its handover to The Exchange, the lower ground area of the building will be open to the public from 14 February. It will house ‘The Conversation Room’, an area for creativity and community events, as well as ‘The Bookstore Cafe’, a fantastic new space for freshly produced food and drink run by talented local chef Marina Power.

Cllr Louie French, Bexley’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth said:
“It’s wonderful to see this beautiful old building being brought back into use for the benefit of the local community. Erith is one of the main locations that will gain from our ambitious growth strategy for the borough. We want to make the area a thriving riverside town centre once again.”

Sarah Batten, Co-Director of The Exchange said:
“We are so excited to launch our programme in February – there will be lots for people to do, including exhibitions, performances, kitchen garden planting, sewing and embroidery classes and film nights. We look forward to welcoming the community back into the building.”

The Exchange already have a programme of exciting events planned in the building – check out their website for more information and tickets:

London Borough of Bexley and The Exchange have secured National Lottery Funding to continue the refurbishment of the Carnegie building. During 2019 they plan to apply for a full grant to fund the next phase of the work, which will focus on renovating the upper two floors.