Birkdale Community Hub and Library is being set up in the Station Masters House to provide a community meeting place, together with services such as book lending and computer access for all, in the centre of Birkdale village. The overall project is bringing an empty building back into use for the benefit of the community, whether it is activities for children, regular club events, or a meeting place for the older people in our community, many of whom live in single person households.
Not everyone has access to the internet or computers (PCs) with printers at home. The Hub will have free Wifi, computer access on the ground floor and a computer room upstairs with PCs connected to a printer. The upstairs meeting rooms and reception desk downstairs will have internet access too.
What we'll deliver:
Computer and Internet Access on the ground floor
Computer Suite on the first floor
Free Wifi throughout the building
Meeting rooms with internet access for presentations and video streaming
Why it's a great idea:
Providing computers in the Station Master’s House will help all who have no or limited access to computers or printers at home. In particular it will allow schoolchildren and students to carry out for their homework if they are unable to do so at home, or would like a quiet space to work. Currently 12% of those aged between 11 and 18 years have no internet access at home (ONS 2018). Job seekers will be able to look for and apply for employment. We aim to provide both homework and job clubs.
The PCs will also enable us to provide classes for older people to learn the basics of computing and safe use of the internet, and can be used to support other classes using computers and for those undertaking self-study courses.
Steps to get it done:
September 2019 - 15 year lease signed with Network Rail and Merseyrail
October 2019 - Renovation work begins on the Station Masters House
Dec 2019/Jan 2020 - Cabling for computers installed as part of general re-wiring
March 2020 - Computer system set up
April 2020 - The Station Master's House is open with computer access.
We are grateful for all the support and enthusiasm we have in our community for the whole project of creating a Community Hub and Library in the centre of Birkdale Village. Merseyrail and Network Rail are also active supporters and have already carried out some repairs to the building.
We have raised funds for the internal renovations to the house by the fundraising efforts of our volunteers and trustees along with grants from Sefton Council, the Railway Heritage Trust, and a major donation towards a lift. Building work is due to commence in October 2019.
We now need funds to pay for computers and IT equipment for use in the Hub and, if funding allows, to have an up-to-date library management system.
Keep up to date with Birkdale Community Hub and Library6 months ago
Please visit our website www.thestationmastershouse.co.uk to keep up to date with our progress. You can make further donations for other parts of the project through our website too. Thank you all so much for raising the money for the computers.
Thank you - We are now fully funded for the Computers!7 months ago
A big thank you to all our pledgers. It was great to see such a good response to the article in the paper yesterday. We are now fully funded for the Computers in the Community Hub. The New Year will see Birkdale Community Hub and Library carry on with the building work . Some of the money raised will go towards installing the necessary wiring for the Computer Network at this stage and then the balance will be used for purchasing the PCs, screens etc and associated software when the building is ready. please visit our website www.thestationmastershouse.co.uk to keep up to date with our progress
The builders are now working on the Station Masters House. Hurray! Please remember to ask your family, friends and neighbours to pledge for the computers over the Christmas period. We are now 85%funded but we still need another £995 in pledges by the 14th of January or we do not get this funding for the computers.
Birkdale Community Hub and Library (BCHL) is a registered charity (number 1153611) set up in 2013, following closure of the Birkdale library. In 2015 we identified the former Station Master’s House in the centre of Birkdale village as an ideal location to open a Community Hub and Library for the benefit of the residents of Birkdale and Southport and the surrounding area.
The Station Master’s House will offer different areas for the range of services we wish to provide once we have completed the internal building renovations. The ground floor will be one large room with a reception, computer station, books for adults and a separate area for children’s books and services at the rear.
We aim to to have a fully accessible building, and so a disabled toilet and baby-changing area will be provided in the downstairs area, and a lift to enable access to the upstairs rooms to those with mobility issues.
The upper floor will have three rooms. Two are meeting rooms suitable for a range of activities such as talks, meetings, games, music lessons and interviews, each with access to the internet. The third room will function as a Computer Lounge with computer stations around the room and comfortable seating.
Merseyrail have been very supportive of the project from the start, and when the superior landlord Network Rail became involved they also were keen to see the project completed. It has been agreed that the house could be leased for 15 years at a peppercorn rent.
The level of support for the creation of a new hub and library in Birkdale village has been heartening. When the Station Master’s House in its original state was opened up for a week in July 2017 there were in excess of 300 visitors and over £2000 was raised. All our fund-raising events have been well-supported by the local community. We have a Friends of the Station Masters House group and a thriving 200+Club which has raised over £3,500 towards the building costs. More than 200 local people have volunteered to help with the project as it becomes operational.
We have raised sufficient funds to carry out the internal conversion of the Station Master’s House and are now actively seeking funds for the Computer phase of the project.
Project Delivery Manager: Birkdale Community Hub and Library
The Project Delivery Manager takes legal responsibility for receiving and spending the funds raised and ensuring the project is delivered.