Rowley Szilagy

Building Condition Report and Measured Survey, Former Library Building, Sefton

Client: Local community development trust

It’s not every day that one gets to touch the finial on top of a tower, comes face-to-face with a clock face or finds a hidden bell, but with the economic downturn and pressure on local authorities to re-appraise their assets, more and more communities are losing longstanding services with the redundant buildings finding their way on to disposal registers; buildings with a lot to discover and a lot still to give.

One such victim of the cuts is this former library. A Grade II  Listed Building boasting a “shaped gable, sandstone ashlar and pilasters, plain frieze, modillioned cornice, balustraded parapet Ionic columns, mutuled cornices and 2-stage turret with console supporters and clock face to the front, and arcaded top with ogival domed roof and finial”*, this magnificent example of the Georgian Baroque style has become the centre of attention once again as local groups seeks to save, repair and adapt it for use by the community in the heart of the community.

Having proven experience in the repair and refurbishment of listed buildings and heritage assets in conservation areas, Rowley Szilagy were instructed to undertake a Building Condition Inspection to provide a report identifying the immediate and longer term repairing and maintenance issues, further investigations needed and means of addressing building defects to inform the client’s business, maintenance and funding plans for the property.

Access was organised under licence from the Local Authority to inspect external aspects of the clock turret, roof structure and high level masonry from cherry picker prior to inspecting the lower elements of the building from ground level.

A full measured survey of the building to provide ‘as existing’ floor plans was undertaken for consultations and preparation of future planning and listed building consent applications and we have been instructed to provide professional advice relating to capital works costs and heritage outcomes that will inform feasibility studies ahead of funding bids for heritage grants to bring this Grade II Listed building back into sustainable use for the benefit of all.

*Abstracted from Listing.