Former library to be transformed into artists’ venue

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A city centre library which closed in 2012 is being brought back into use as a community arts venue.

Work started today to convert Drury Lane Library into 34 artists’ studios, along with meetings rooms and office space.

The grade II-listed building is being refurbished as an extension to the neighbouring Art House, an organisation which helps city artists develop their skills,

Artists, businesses and members of the public will be able to use the Old Library building by summer 2015.

It will be connected to the Art House via a glazed extension to form a new public entrance on Mulberry Way as part of the project, which is backed by Wakefield Council, Arts Council England and the European Regional Development Fund.

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Wakefield Council’s service director for culture and sport, said: “This is fantastic news for Wakefield’s growing cultural sector and we wish the very best to The Art House in transforming the former library into a vibrant space for local artists.

“The new venue will bring and add so much to the city centre and will create many new opportunities for creative artists to give them the resources and space to express themselves.”