Croydon Council has opened bidding for businesses or social enterprises wanting to take on the running of the former library in Ashburton Park.
The council is working on the restoration of the currently derelict building to make it ready for its new tenants and will be investing in the region of £1m on the project. This will include adding an outer extension, providing flexible rooms available for community events, and installing new toilets for all park users.
Formal tenders can be submitted by anyone with a viable proposal to take on all or part of the building and operate it as a hub to serve the local community.
Business plans will need to demonstrate how the old library will open seven days a week and provide somewhere for people to buy food and drink plus space that can be rented by local groups. Alongside any commercial operations the successful bidder will also have to provide social activities and facilities that could include some element of education and training or skills development for local people.
“This is a fantastic project and one that will really breathe new life into the area and see us deliver on our pledge to turn the building into something that will be a real benefit to the local community.
“It is probable that one lead organisation will take on the overall responsibility for old library, but they might choose to sublet the space. So we welcome bids from businesses and groups of all sizes – from those large enough to take on the whole building down to those who just want to rent a room for a few days a week.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes, regeneration and planning
Following marketing earlier this year, 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.
The council pledged last year to restore the derelict building, which began as a 19th century convent and was home to Ashburton Library until 2007. Ashburton is an18.5-acre park in Addiscombe, adjacent to Selhurst, Norwood and Croydon itself.
For the tender pack contact:
Natalie Thomas: Natalie.firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 8726 6000 x63146
Or visit the Croydon Council website http://www.croydon.gov.uk/opportunity.
Deadline for receipt of tender submissions is midday on Friday 11 November, 2016.