Work to transform Liverpool’s Calderstones Mansion into The International Centre for Shared Reading is underway.
Literary charity The Reader, which has been based at the Calderstones Park site since September 2014, is behind the project to refurbish the Grade II-listed building.
Phase one of the project has already resulted in improvements to The Reader Cafe and brought the mansion’s barn and stables back into use as The Reader’s Storybarn and Ice Cream Parlour attractions.
Supported by a £2 million Heritage Lottery Fund grant, phase two of the renovation will see the Mansion House close while essential repair work is carried out at the site.
The park’s famous Neolithic Calder Stones, which are due to leave the site temporarily for conservation work, will be displayed at The International Centre for Shared Reading as part of its heritage offer.
The Reader’s founder and director, Dr Jane Davis, says: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something truly special at Calderstones. The International Centre for Shared Reading will benefit communities across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.
“Since 2014 we’ve welcomed visitors from all over the world including South Korea, Australia, Germany and Scandinavia to discuss the benefits of Shared Reading. We’ve created The Storybarn to kickstart a life-long love of reading for pleasure for children across the North West and our outreach projects continue to grow, bringing together all kinds of people to build stronger communities.
“We’re delighted with the support we have received from Liverpool City Council, Heritage Lottery Fund and our other partners.”
Once completed, The International Centre for Shared Reading will include a new book shop, community events space, a theatre room, a large modern café, reading rooms, heritage rooms and office space.