We need to fit out 2,000ft2 of raw space to provide a modern multipurpose library, in an area with no other free facility open to all.
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.
This is a rapidly growing corner of Brent, with a widely diverse population. 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 could revitalise the area, and bring a sense of pride to local people.
What we'll deliver:
- continue to consult the community, run events and build momentum
- install flooring throughout
- install services: plumbing, heating, electrics, IT, lighting
- build internal walls, including interlinking acoustic doors
- create a new energy efficient library and community space
Why it's a great idea:
Cricklewood Library will bring the community together. It will be volunteer run - as a dynamic community 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.
Working with partners including the WEA, Ashford Place and other community groups, courses such as ESOL, IT, Yoga and CV workshops,will help build intergenerational bonds, work skills, improving health and wellbeing, increasing integration and strengthening the community.
Innovative design, creating adaptable spaces, will maximise the impact of the library. Bookshelves will roll away, for film nights and social gatherings, tea dances for older people or supper clubs for all ages. Interlinking and defined spaces will allow the library to run alongside toddler groups, homework clubs and music, dance or yoga.
Steps to get it done:
- host meanwhile event to introduce public, users and partners to space
- agree builder and set out clear project management and payment plan
- commission and install library sign and road number sign
- commission detailed drawings and obtain licenses and permissions
- commission mechanical and engineering drawings mapping locations of electrics, lighting, IT, plumbing/heating services
- complete phase I building works, prepare for phase II kit out
- launch building blog to keep community informed
- put works out to tender and consider at least three bids
- Quantity surveyor estimates materials needed prior to bidding process
- snagging to check problems before completion
- start building works, monitor project plan throughout, keep trustees and community informed of progress
The community wants a place to meet up and has the determination to deliver this project, after seven years of grassroots activism, we've won a rent free space in perpetuity. We need help kitting it out.
FOCL has provided uninterrupted book lending since 2011, at events and through four pop-up libraries, with the support of local groups, including the Pakistan Community Centre, MAPRA, NW2 RA, Creative Cricklewood, Ashford Place. Three pop-ups now run in local stations, with 300+ visitors a week.
We've started fundraising, got the support of the Co-op, had a quiz night and lined up some author evenings etc.
We're greening the streetscape, improving road safety and linking to the park opposite. Awareness of the environment, increasing reuse and recycling will be part of our education programme.
Cricklewood Library is part of a community library alliance in Brent, developing a new collaborative way of working.
Funds not used for building work will support future programmes.