15 March 2017
Shared reading charity The Reader have started work on transforming Calderstones Mansion into The International Centre for Shared Reading and breathing new life into the centrepiece of one of South Liverpool’s most popular parks.
The transformation of the Grade II listed building will form the next phase of The Reader’s plans for Calderstones Park, with the innovative charity having already repurposed the stables and barn into the Reader Café, Story Barn and Ice Cream Parlour.
The Reader is an award-winning social enterprise that aims to connect people with great literature through shared reading. South Liverpool Homes, the organisation behind Think South Liverpool has partnered with The Reader, homelessness charity The Whitechapel Centre and Merseytravel to deliver its innovative Volunteer Academy project, which aims to equip people with the necessary skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed in volunteering roles.
The renovation work has been made possible by £2M of Heritage Lottery funding and will see the mansion house temporarily close. The Neolithic Calder Stones, which give the park its name, will also be removed for conservation work before being displayed at The International Centre for Shared Reading.
Once complete the mansion will house a new book shop, café, theatre, community events space, reading rooms, heritage rooms and office space.
Speaking to Your Move Magazine, the Reader’s founder Dr Jane Davis said, “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.”