New chapter set to unfold for former Belfast library

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By Brian Pelan, VIEW editor

Despite the ravages of time, the former Oldpark library in north Belfast still has a magisterial air about it.

I visited the Carnegie building at the weekend to have a look at the building and to hear about the exciting plans to reopen it as a social enterprise. Supporters of the project are hoping for commercial revenue streams from office rental, enabling the other rooms to be free for education and training community, arts and social activities.

The project is led by the Northern Ireland Foundation, an independent operating charity that has asked Quintin Oliver, its secretary, and the purchaser of the Carnegie Oldpark with his partner Fiona MacMillan, to chair the restoration committee. Janice Beggs, manager of the Lower Oldpark Community Association is vice-chair.

A place that once seen thousand of library users go through its doors will hopefully have a sequel about to unfold.

A library – the most democratic of public institutions – deserves no less.

To learn more about the project go to

Follow @CarnegieOldpark on Twitter

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