£756,616 funding secured to progress Canning Town Old Library Transformation

Canning Town library

• The latest round of National Lottery Heritage Fund and Public Sector Decarbonisation funding will kick start the delivery phase of the Old Library renovation

Canning Town Old Library's transformation into a modern and valuable community asset celebrating Newham’s heritage has reached another milestone, having secured a funding grant of £551,743 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and £204,870 of Public Sector Decarbonisation Funding.

The National Lottery Heritage development grant funding will kick-start the next phase of the project which will include working with residents and community groups to curate the centre’s programme, as well as finally beginning the process of protecting, cataloguing and relocating the borough’s archive collection. These will be stored in a state-of-the-art, purpose-built archive and showcased, along with the borough’s museum collections, in the transformed old library building. The latest milestone forms part of the Council’s commitment to delivering on Building Newham’s Creative Future cultural strategy.

Stuart McLeod, Director of England - London & South at The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Not only will Newham Heritage Centre revitalise a Grade II listed building in the heart of Canning Town, but it will also transform access to Newham’s fascinating stories and collections and make a permanent home to celebrate heritage in the borough. We look forward to working with the team to progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.”

The £204,870 of Public Sector Decarbonisation Funding secured from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero will advance the project’s decarbonisation ambitions; to install decarbonisation measures and bring the building up to an industry-accredited ‘BREAAM Very Good’ rating, which for a Grade II listed building will be an exemplar in the borough. It will enable the installation of heat pumps in replacement of the outdated gas heating system, the provision of solar panels and several other measures to improve the thermal efficiency of the windows and walls throughout the building. 

Through the current development phase running until July 2025, Newham Council will be working with residents, community groups and partners to create recruitment opportunities along with setting up the processes to activate the space to make it into a real community space for the Canning Town neighbourhood and beyond.

  • Collections Care and Access – planning and piloting conservation, cataloguing, digitisation and relocation of collections, starting volunteer-run programmes and building community engagement
  • Involving People with Planning – working with residents, community groups and young people on interpretation, consultation, co-production and governance
  • Communications, Marketing & Branding – developing and delivering strategies, co-producing project branding with residents, launching the project during NHM 2024
  • Resources & Recruitment – Recruitment of new staff posts and specialist consultant support 
  • Capacity Building, Training & Skills Development – staff skills audit and training, volunteer recruitment and training, development of work placement framework for Delivery Phase
  • Partner Activities – Activities with UCL East, V & A East, Newham Music, IROKO, Royal Docks and East London Foundation Trust and activities to explore new partnerships.

Canning Town Old Library was granted full planning permission and listed building consent in October 2023. 

The building works are due to commence in summer 2024 following a competitive tender process which is currently taking place to appoint a contractor to lead on the construction phase of the project.

Published: 06 Jun 2024