Cricklewood Library in the London Borough of Brent closed in October 2011.
A ten month on-line Friends of Cricklewood Library(FOCL) campaign to save the Library, supported unanimously by residents in Cricklewood received over a thousand visits every week.
Inevitably, the Friends lost their battle and the old Library was demolished in 2013.
In 2015 work commenced on site to replace the library with a new housing development.
Fortunately, the Campaigners had not been ignored and the Planning Approval for the housing scheme included the direction that the development would return a ground floor shell space, possibly to be used by a group such as the Friends of Cricklewood Library.
The next challenge was to raise funds to install and equip the library and then raise further finance to future-proof its ongoing costs for the first months. This would be essential to demonstrate the viability of the Community run project and to fulfil Brent Council’s requirements for the occupancy of the building.
The FOCL group gathered to raise funds for the fit out of the shell and with the assistance of £40,000 from the GLA, the total amount raised to create the new Library space has reached £111,326.
The library will have room to host workshops, facilities for homework clubs, craft groups, and activities including ESOL, lifelong learning, dance, music, yoga and skills building, as well as a small cafe.
The library will bring people together, build links, reduce social isolation and give people access to learning, develop skills and work opportunities.
This is an opportunity to create a cultural destination, attracting people to the area, promoting access through the cycle quietway, and drawing in people who visit Gladstone Park for sport and leisure. It should revitalise the area, and bring a sense of pride to local people.
Cricklewood Library will bring the community together. It will be volunteer run – as a dynamiccommunity project. Working together, people will share and develop skills and friendship, and shape the programme of activities, from lifelong learning to fitness, crafts and skills.
HUB have the great privilege of being invited to work with the FOCL to assist with the delivery of the library fit out.
Our sketches show the shared vision of FOCL with strong ideas emerging for materiality and up-cycling in response to FOCL’s eco-friendly brief.