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Beaney works delayed - again!

Beaney Institute, Canterbury High Street
Beaney Institute, Canterbury High Street

by Alex Claridge

Work on the building which houses Canterbury's central library has been delayed again.

A report to county councillors states that work on the Beaney Institute in Canterbury’s High Street will not finish until January.

It was supposed to be complete in November.

The report to KCC’s cabinet states: “Contractors have informed us that the anticipated completion date has moved from November 2011 to January 2012, although work is being carried out to find ways to complete earlier.
“The delay in completion is mainly due to the additional work required on the façade, the roof and damp proofing the basement.”

The Beaney has been closed since November 2008.

Work on its redevelopment was delayed last year when contractors found defects on the Victorian building’s facade.

The Heritage Lottery Fund had given £6.5 million to the project, but has now awarded an extra £500,000 to cover the additional costs, bringing the total to just over £7million.

Janice McGuinness, the council’s head of culture, said: “A specialist conservation contractor has been brought in to carry out the repairs, including the replacement of some of the existing window frames and repair of the mosaic panels.

“The Beaney is a Canterbury landmark, so while the restoration and repair has added a few weeks to the project, the end result will be well worth the wait.”

When the building reopens, it will have been transformed into a place with brighter public spaces and a naturally lit atrium.

The High Street facade will have been restored and an extension and new entrance created in Best Lane.

There will also be a glass lift through all floors, connecting the old and new building, which will also have toilets, a cafe and buggy park, as well as a redesigned library with new spaces for children, teenagers and reference.

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