RESTORATION work will start on Darlington’s Crown Street Library later this month.

The Grade II listed building will be brought back to its former glory with a 15-month restoration programme that will include the roof covering and key heritage features such as decorative plasterwork.

There will also be improvements to the library’s digital infrastructure and a general refresh of the internal area.

Digital infrastructure improvements will provide access to upgraded technology and the building’s mechanical and electrical systems will be overhauled to improve functionality and energy efficiency.

The art gallery will be retained with a dedicated area to showcase pieces from the Borough Art Collection.

Toilet facilities will be modernised with additional facilities including a fully accessible toilet and a family-friendly space.

Decoration will be refreshed throughout, with areas for school groups as well as older people.

Councillor Andy Keir, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for local services, said: “This is an exciting new chapter for Darlington Library’s Crown Street building, which dates back to 1885.

"We’ve worked closely with library users and others to develop a programme of restoration that will retain many of its historic features while also upgrading facilities for the modern age.

“Obviously, some areas of the library will need to be closed while work is carried out and we would ask users to be patient during this period.

"Our staff have worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic to maintain as many services a possible and I have no doubt they will rise to the latest challenge as we work to bring you a new, revitalised library.”

Pavement closures along East Street, Crown Street and Priestgate for the scaffolding required to carry out the work on the roof are scheduled to be in place from late Monday November 22 until early 2023.

The library, however, will remain open with diversions and crossing points in place to enable access via two of the three entrances, depending on the location of the internal works being undertaken.