The Old Library Development Project

Continuing Passmore Edwards legacy of community access, use and enjoyment

intoBodmin was formed in 2017 in response to the closing of the Public Rooms and the sale of the public library building, which threatened to leave a void in the town for community access to cultural events, activities and public gatherings. We couldn't let that happen and took on the lease from Cornwall Council! Since then the organisation has been organically grown and shaped to the communities it is here to support.

On the journey we started to look at securing the future of The Old Library as a public space and to build a cultural, community hub in the heart of the town that can significantly benefit the local community and play a part in the revitalisation of Bodmin!

As a community interest company, intoBodmin is able to draw in funding to the town bringing a seasonal progamme of cultural experiences across Bodmin's public spaces, support community initatives and groups to form, provide a platform for artist's to evolve and show work, provide jobs and volunteer opportunities in the arts.



Why does this project need to happen now?

Major limitations such as poor energy efficiency, high energy bills and high rent threaten the long-term security of The Old Library as a community asset, and intoBodmin’s ability to operate sustainably from it.

The grade II listed building is in a poor state of repair after years of neglect. Problems such as damaged pointing and windows have resulted in water ingress which is causing ongoing damage to the building. Inadequate insulation and outdated heating and lighting systems mean The Old Library has a large carbon footprint.

As an imposing 19th century building, there is poor access, low natural light and inadequate signage. High windows mean there’s no visible ‘shop window’ from street level which makes the building appear closed-off and uninviting. Poor use of space on the first floor limits the number of workspace hirers, and facilities are off-putting e.g. toilets are outdated and there is no kitchenette for preparing food and drink.

Rental costs have increased significantly over the last 3 years to an unsustainable level, and intoBodmin now has the opportunity to gain ownership of the building and improve the fabric and facilities available.

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So, what's the big idea then?

We have an ambitious plan to raise £600,000 for the purchase and development of The Old Library building.  We plan to do this through a combination of different funding applications and hopefully with some support from the crowd!

Phase ONE is to purchase the building from Cornwall Council. This enables us as a CIC to raise the much needed funds for the repair of the building. We are aiming to complete the purchase by September 2022.

Phase TWO.  Thee Old Library will be repaired, and heritage features faithfully restored through;

  1. Essential repairs will be carried out to the stonework, pointing and rotting windows, some of the original heritage features will be restored making it a beautiful space for the community to be in.
  2. Improvements will be made to the buildings energy efficiency with the introduction of secondary glazing and loft insulation to reduce passive heat loss and a complete rewire with energy efficient heating and lighting systems.
  3. Improving accessibility and facilities with better signage inside and out, making the building more visible and easier to navigate, improving the prominence of step-free rear entrance through a creative installation of the history of the building along the side path. This permanent artwork, visible from the high street, will be an engaging way of sharing the building’s history and improving access.

Phase THREE. We'll commission an artist to deliver creative community workshops sharing the history of the Old Library and Passmore Edwards’ legacy, and inviting communities to share their aspirations for the building’s future and the vision to create public spaces with free access to learning for everyone.

Overall the project will give a high-carbon-footprint 19th century building a new lease of life making it relevant to 21st century community needs..

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Build a Better Bodmin

intoBodmin is a cultural advocacy organisation. We actively promote Bodmin as an attractive, engaging, inspirational and progressive town. A place where communities are strong and businesses are innovative.

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