Thousands of local people will benefit from The Shard, a stunning new £1.9million building which incorporates a library, neighbourhood office and community space for the residents of Shard End.
The distinctive bright red building – featuring a chameleon-cladded point that changes colour with the sun – offers improved library services, an area to advise and assist people with Birmingham City Council services, the latest technology including cloud wi-fi access and a dedicated area for the local community.
The building is the result of a joint project between the city council and housing developer Barratt Homes, as part of the wider partnership arrangement to develop Shard End Urban Village. Barratts gifted the city the building (worth £1.4million), while the council has spent £500,000 on fitting out the development.
It was officially opened by Cllr Ian Ward, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council, at All Saints Square, Shard End Crescent, last Friday (June 8).
Cllr Ward said: “This building, with its new and improved facilities, is what the area has been crying out for and should be an aspiration for all neighbourhoods across the city.
“It is purpose built and ideal for local people as it offers a wealth of integrated, high quality services that they can be proud of.”
Due to the projected increase in footfall the state-of-the-art “community hub” facility will generate, a review of the future operating model for city libraries has also been undertaken and The Shard will now be open for five days a week, one day more than originally planned.
The increased cost is being met without compromising the savings required across the whole of the library service.
The opening “season” for the new library will also include a programme of family activities which will include children’s book illustrator Lynn Chapman, drama sessions, face painting parties for children and animal handling sessions.
The launch will start a programme of regular activities in June including a special event with children’s laureate Julia Donaldson author of The Grufallo, and visits from children’s author Joe Craig.
For hi-res pictures of The Shard, please visit the Birminghamnewsroom Flickr feed.
Notes to editors
1. The Shard was designed by architects IDPartnership and with interior design by Edgbaston-based John Hunt Associates.
2. Cole Valley Advice Services will deliver services from The Shard later in June.
3. The cost to fit out The Shard was £500,000 which was from city council capital funding.
For further media information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621