An exhibition of £1m plans to restore the former library in Ashburton Park go on sale this week.
Croydon Council has drawn up plans to turn the Victorian building into a community hub to attract more visitors to the park, as well as creating flexible spaces for use by the community and small businesses.
It intends to add an outer extension, provide flexible rooms available for community events, and install new toilets for all park users.
Before submitting a planning application, the council is holding an exhibition on Friday, September 2 and Saturday, September 3, after which there will be an opportunity for community groups and businesses interested in occupying part of the former library’s 6,222 sq ft space to put forward a detailed business case.
The council has already received initial expressions of interest from over 40 groups, ranging from art classes and sports clubs to cafés and pre-school nurseries. Details of how to make a submission will be made available on the council’s website late September.
The council pledged last year to restore the derelict building, which began as a 19th century convent and was home to Ashburton Library from the 1920s until 2007.
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning, said: “We want to re-open this well-loved and historic building and make it once again an important focus for community life, and I’m pleased we’re taking this major next step.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and sport, added: “This council has big plans for Ashburton Park, including re-opening the pavilion and fresh landscaping, so this refurbishment of the former library is key to our wider goals.”
To attend the exhibition, visit the current Ashburton Library in Shirley Road, Croydon, CR9 7AL, between 12-5pm on Friday or from 10am-4pm on Saturday. The exhibition boards will also be available to view online on the council’s website from 2-9 September. You can also provide comments via an online feedback form.
As part of the proposals, the council is also calling on artists of all ages to enter a competition to find the best drawings that will become part of the building’s external hoardings. To enter, visit: http://www.croydon.gov.uk/ashburtonpark