The Ladder will officially launch on the 27th of May 2023, where there will be opportunities to have tours of the building.
Following a grant of £168,000 from Historic England as part of the Redruth High Street Heritage Action Zone project, the former Redruth Library has been awarded another £430,000 to repair the building under The Ladder’s ownership. This is part of the Devolution Deal negotiations between the government and Cornwall Council.
The Architectural Heritage Fund’s (AHF) Transforming Places through Heritage programme, supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has awarded its final grants that will contribute to high streets and town centres in Cornwall, Cumbria and Norfolk. An AHF Project Development Grant, awarded as part of this final batch of Transforming Places grants, will “help progress the architectural and wider development work” of the project in the former Redruth Library, now The Ladder.
The Redruth Library CIC plan to use the funds to provide:
- Early years education centre
- Rehearsal, co-working, and performance spaces
- A community garden
- Cultural & arts hub
- Resource library for the whole community
The Ladder will create up to 60 jobs paying Living Wage and enhancing the skills, education, and opportunities of the people of Redruth. The Ladder also has strong initiatives with local schools through The Writers’ Block group who have a permanent space in the library.
Regional Director at Historic England, Rebecca Barrett said: “We’re delighted that High Street Heritage Action Zone funding has helped secure the building and act as a catalyst for this further significant investment. It’s wonderful news for Passmore Edward’s library and for Redruth.”
Raised In Cornwall will open late August 2023 in The Ladder. They are a social enterprise dedicated to first-rate nursery care whilst supporting community organisations. Originally based in Bristol, Raised In are excited to be involved in a new project to support a new community space: “When we set up Raised In Bristol back in 2017, it was always designed to be replicated, and now that The Ladder has invited us to share the space in the PE former library, I’m glad we can be part of the entrepreneurial spirit of Redruth and of my family history.”
The former Redruth Library has been purchased in the bicentenary year of Cornish philanthropist John Passmore Edwards (1823 – 1911), who devoted a large amount of his wealth to this small Cornish town 130 years ago. He bequeathed £2,000 for the construction of the library which was matched by Octavius Allen Ferris of Truro.
“If we fund the ladder, the people would climb.”