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Bringing a new library to the heart of Twyford

Bringing a new library to the heart of Twyford

21 March 2023
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Twyford Library project

Wokingham Borough Council is restoring and bringing back to the life one of the borough’s most historic buildings to provide a permanent home for Tywford Library.


Earlier this year, the council announced it had leased The Old Polehampton Boys School, a Grade 2 listed building in Polehampton Close, for 99 years at a peppercorn rent, in order to relocate the current library.


Based in the heart of Twyford, the former school building will provide a vital community facility to the northern parishes, thanks to great partnership working in the area.


The Old Boys School was built to educate boys from the village with money left by Edward Polehampton. It is owned by the Polehampton Trust, a local charity which seeks to support residents in need, as well as children’s educational development in the Twyford area.


The council’s contractors Contract Trading Services (CTS) Ltd is converting the building, which includes a modest single-storey extension and an accessible entrance, providing an additional 40m of floorspace. The council will make the building as energy efficient as possible given the constraints of the listed building and the site.  


Since late January, the site has been set up and preparations are in place for ground-work investigations to be carried out shortly. Work to lay the foundations for the new extension will start in the next few weeks.

Restoring a much-loved historic building


Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services, said: “I am delighted we are restoring and bringing back to life this much-loved historic building, which will bring huge benefits to residents. It is so important to use heritage assets in our borough, and this building is a real focal point for Twyford and the surrounding villages. It will bring people together, from all generations and backgrounds, providing more than just a library, but a community safe space for all to enjoy.


“The community has campaigned for a long time for a permanent library in Twyford, and it’s great to see this project progressing. I would like to thank residents and the Polehampton Trust and look forward to continue working in partnership on this important community project.”

A community hub in the making


Andrew Cardy, a trustee of the Polehampton Charity, said: “Past and present trustees are absolutely delighted that our much cherished – and one of the most historic buildings in our wonderful village – is now in the safe hands of Wokingham Borough Council.


“We are thrilled that the building will continue to play a part in educating the children of Twyford and the surrounding villages. The village has campaigned for decades for a more suitable building to run the library in and one of our past trustees, Dave Turner, first suggested this building nearly 10 years ago. Sadly, Dave passed away recently and we are looking forward to seeing how the council honours Dave’s commitment to this project.


“We would like to thank everyone who has played a part in keeping this alive and thoroughly look forward to this iconic building once again becoming the hub of the community.”

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