Waterloo Library: ‘meanwhile space opportunity’ in Lower Marsh

As Lambeth Council prepares to shut Waterloo Library in its current form, the authority has revealed plans for a 'meanwhile use' of the Lower Marsh building pending redevelopment.

Waterloo Library: ‘meanwhile space opportunity’ in Lower Marsh

Waterloo Library is due to close just after Easter under Lambeth Council's controversial 'Culture 2020' package of cuts to the borough's libraries and parks.

A temporary new library without permanent on-site staff is expected to open by the summer at the Oasis Centre in Kennington Road.

The council has now published an invitation for local organisations to tender for what it calls an "exciting meanwhile space opportunity" to use the old library space for the next two years before it is redeveloped.

"We have a good track record of supporting innovative meanwhile uses which go on to even greater success," writes Cllr Jack Hopkins – Lambeth's cabinet member for jobs and growth – on his blog.

"Lower Marsh presents a fabulous opportunity for something quite incredible.

"A prime location, good support and some creativity to provide employment and entrepreneurial opportunities could make your name."

The council says it is "intentionally non-prescriptive about the types of proposals that could come forward" although the library building currently has planning permission for class D1 (community) use.

Lambeth says it will apply for planning permission from its own planning department to enable flexible use of the building, including retail (A1) and office (B1) use clases.

According to the tender document, the Waterloo Job Shop is expected to remain open once the library shuts.

Read the full invitation to tender; the closing date for bids is Monday 14 March.

• Friends of Lambeth Libraries and the trade union Unison have announced a new protest march against Lambeth Council's plans for its libraries. It is due to start from Windrush Square at 10.30am on Saturday 5 March.

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