Works will soon start on the restoration of The Gamble building to bring it back into public use after major funding was approved.
Councillors approved £1.4m in funding which will go towards making the building structure secure at Cabinet yesterday.
The key site will form part of St Helens Borough Council’s transformation plans for St Helens Town Centre. The building suffered water damage which made the lower levels unsafe for use and the works will initially focus on bringing the building back into use with future plans still be worked on to make The Gamble a public space that can be used in a variety of ways.
Bringing the building back into public use is one of the features of the Town Deal Board’s Improvement Plan for St Helens Town Centre and the aim is to create a place that will be open to the community to provide positive services.
The Gamble Building (formerly Gamble Institute) was originally built as a library and technical school in 1896. It was supported by funds from Sir David Gamble and was developed to support the advancement of technical and scientific skills among the local population.
Hoardings have been put up at the building to support initial survey works ahead of external and internal works starting later in the year.
Labour Councillor Anthony Burns, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Culture and Heritage, says: “Everyone in St Helens agrees the Gamble is an important building and we all want to see it back in use, home to the library service and buzzing with people again. This funding we’ve agreed is a major step towards making that happen. We said we’d do this, and we meant it.”
Councillor David Baines, Leader of St Helens Borough Council, said: “The Gamble is a landmark building that means a lot to all of us in St Helens. It belongs to the people. This funding is a crucial step towards making the building safe and ready for reopening.
“The Gamble is an important part of our St Helens Town Centre regeneration plans. It is a key feature of the Town Deal Board’s bid which was recently submitted for Towns Fund money and will be an important part of the town centre and our community for many years to come.”