Library and theatre co-location central to cultural hub plans

November 29, 2021

Halton Borough Council has announced its intention to relocate its Granville Street library to The Brindley building, as part of a wider ambition to create an exciting cultural hub in Runcorn.

The move is part of the ‘Brindley Theatre Enhancement’ project that will also see an extension to current facilities to create a larger cafe-restaurant, and a welcoming community space and outdoor events venue on Brindley Green.

The project is one of seven that together form the ‘Reconnecting Runcorn’ Town Investment Plan, aimed at making Runcorn a prime location, by providing the workforce, connectivity and infrastructure business needs to thrive.

In July this year it was announced that the Runcorn Town Investment Plan had been awarded £23.6m of Government funding to deliver the seven Reconnecting Runcorn projects.

The decision to relocate the library follows a visit to the successful and award winning Storyhouse in Chester, where library usage has benefited from co-location with the venue’s theatre. It is hoped the same will be achieved at The Brindley, with both the library and theatre being strengthened and new visitors attracted to both venues.

No date has been confirmed for the library move, but it is anticipated that, subject to further approvals, work on the Brindley Theatre Enhancement will get underway on site in 2024. As part of the design process library users and other members of the public will be invited to share their ideas and views on the new space.

Once vacated, the current library building at Granville Street will provide valuable space to develop other exciting opportunities as part of the wider Runcorn Town Investment Plan.

Talking about The Brindley Enhancement Project, Executive Board Member for Employment, Learning and Skills, and Community Councillor Paul Nolan: “Integrating the library as part of The Brindley is the first step to creating what we hope will be an exciting cultural hub in the town centre.

“From visiting the Storyhouse in Chester, we have seen first-hand the synergy created by co-locating a library with a theatre.

“With the addition of Brindley Green as a wonderful place to sit and relax, meet with friends and enjoy outdoor events, I can really see how this project will benefit not just library users and theatre goers, but also the whole community. This plan is a great outcome of our year of Borough of Culture.”

Adrian Fillingham, who chairs the Runcorn Town Investment Board added: “The enhancements at The Brindley will attract more visitors to Runcorn, creating a thriving high street, with an increased footfall that will benefit our small independent traders and other businesses and provide a real boost to our local economy.”

“Reconnecting Runcorn as a whole is a unique opportunity to regenerate Runcorn and transform the town. I am really excited to see how each of the seven projects develop over the coming months and years and of course for local people and businesses to start to see the changes and feel the benefits.” 

Each of the seven Reconnecting Runcorn projects are currently preparing a business case that must be submitted to Government by Summer 2022.

Each business case will be scrutinised by Government and if accepted, funding will be released so that work to deliver the projects can begin.

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