Restoring the Carnegie Building in Erith as a Community Hub

The second phase of the restoration work at the Exchange, formerly known as the Carnegie Library, Erith is now entering its final stages and is expected to be complete later this spring.

The works include further repair and renovation of the first and second floor, a new lift to make the space fully accessible and the completion and fit-out of new workshop spaces as well as external landscaping and new openings to provide better access to the ground floor.

The workshops will provide a space for local people to learn skills in ceramics, textiles, woodwork, print, performance and the creation of garden spaces.

Councillor Louie French, Bexley’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Growth said:

”Following the uncertain year that we’ve had, it is great that we have still been able to progress our ambitious plans for Erith. The restoration of the old Carnegie Building will improve the town as a place to live and do business and will deliver a boost just when it is needed.”

The improvements are funded by the Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and by further fundraising by local company The Exchange who are managing the building. The latest works follow the restoration of the basement of the building which was completed in 2019 when the new Bookstore café and community space opened.

Sarah Batten, Director, The Exchange said:

”In spite of the challenges presented by the pandemic, the project team have pushed ahead with the building works, creating a beautiful space for local residents to enjoy and use for years to come. Never before are community spaces – where we can all come together in the real world – quite so important.”

Visit the Exchange website for more information about events and programming and how you can become involved at the Exchange.

It is hoped that an opening event, that complies with guidelines on social distancing, can be held later in the year for the community, to celebrate the completion of the second phase of works.