The new Twyford Library has taken another step forward after Wokingham Borough Council entered into a lease agreement with The Polehampton Trust.
The council will lease The Old Polehampton Boys School, a Grade 2 listed building in Polehampton Close, for 99 years at a peppercorn rent, allowing it to relocate the current library to this site. This will ensure the former school building can be brought back into use and remain available for generations to come. It is owned by the Polehampton Trust, a local charity who seek to support residents in need as well as children’s educational development in the Twyford area.
The Old Boys School was built to educate boys from the village with money left by Edward Polehampton.
Work starts following appointment of local contractor
The borough council has also appointed local contractor Contract Trading Services (CTS) Ltd to convert the building, which will include a modest single storey extension and an accessible entrance, providing an additional 39.9m of floorspace. The council will also be making the building as energy efficient as possible given the constraints of the listed building and the site. Planning permission was granted in February 2021 and work started earlier this month (January 2023).
Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services, said: “It is great to see the momentum building for the new library in Twyford. We’ve reached two important milestones and I am pleased we’re turning our ambitions to bring a permanent library to this important listed building in the heart of Twyford into reality. This is a great example of partnership working to bring a vital community facility to the northern parishes
“The restoration and use of heritage buildings has a positive impact on communities and helps improve community cohesion, by connecting residents to the history of their community. It also enhances community and individual identity, which is beneficial to all.”
Amy Goodall-Smith from The Polehampton Trust said: “The Trustees of Polehampton Charity are delighted that this long-awaited conversion of the most significant building in our village is now under way. Edward Polehampton bequeathed his estate to Twyford for educational purposes and The Trustees are thrilled that the Old Boys School will continue as a centre to help educate local residents.”
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