Arts centre set to take over former Manor Park library

The former Manor Park Library, in Romford Road, is set to become an arts centre

The former Manor Park Library, in Romford Road, is set to become an arts centre - Credit: Vickie Flores

Plans to lease the former library in Manor Park as an arts centre are expected to get the green light on Thursday night.

Councillors are poised to approve the seven-year agreement with educational arts charity Bow Arts and innovative arts organisation CREATE London.

Together, they hope to provide music workshops, exhibitions and film screenings in the Grade II listed building on the corner of Romford Road and Rabbits Road.

The upper floors would be available for hire as artists workshops, while the ground floor would be used to run publicly accessible arts workshops and events.

Training and employment placements, talks and seminars, jobs advice sessions and a cafe would also be provided on site. .

The project has already attracted £200,000 from the GLA’s High Street’s Fund to help enhance the historic building, which is expected to draw in about 22,000 people annuarlly.

A report prepared ahead of Thursday’s cabinet meeting, when the final decision will be made, suggests that the proposal would “encourage residents to be active and connected and help develop a strong and cohesive community”.

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It adds: “The redevelopment of the old Manor Park library will provide an innovative way of increasing residents’ cultural engagement”.

If approved, the lease would be subject to a three year break clause.

The building, which was the first to be funded by the Carnegie Trust, has been vacant for more than two years after the library was moved to its new location further down Romford Road.