Work has begun to replace the roof of Erith’s Carnegie building, which will be stripped back to its timber frame during the next few weeks.
Initially hopes were high that the iconic building’s roof could be repaired, however investigations showed that all of it needed to be replaced. Recognising the importance of the building to the local community, London Borough of Bexley will make this happen. Replacing the roof now will also mean that it is preserved for another 100 years rather than risk needing more repairs in coming decades.
The cleaning work on the exterior of the building is now complete and over 50 years of grime has been removed.
Work on the interior of the building is progressing. Lengard, the specialist refurbishment and heritage contractor who are carrying out the work, have removed several walls in the basement to create a more open plan community space. The newly refurbished basement will be managed by local company, the Exchange Ltd, when it opens in late summer. It will be a lighter, brighter and more accessible space and will house ‘The Conversation Room’ an area for creativity and community, hosting workshops, debates, screenings and much more as well as ‘The Bookstore’ a fantastic new cafe and bar.
Cllr Linda Bailey, Bexley’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Growth said:
“These are exciting times for Erith. I am delighted that work on this beautiful building is progressing and that we have been able to find the additional funds needed to replace the roof. We recognise the importance of this landmark to people in the Borough and are looking forward to it opening in the summer as a community arts and events space.”
Erith will be one of the first places in the Borough to benefit from the Council’s ambitious growth plans, with a programme of regeneration aimed at developing the area into a thriving riverside community. The aim is to create an active town centre that can make the most of Erith’s unique setting by the River Thames.
The improvements to the Carnegie building in Erith are funded by London Borough of Bexley and partners, including the Mayor of London.