The Library at Acton was opened 120 years ago by the American Ambassador Joseph Choate. The building was designed by Maurice Adams FRIBA, and was partly funded by a grant of £4,000 from the philanthropist J Passmore Edwards. The total cost of the building was £6,690, and was provided with some 8,000 volumes of wholesome literature. The large number of industrial premises in the area required the library to have a technical section, which in the 1950's and 1960's had the reputation of being the best in West London.
The Grade II listed building is situated opposite the former Acton Town Hall and near Acton Central Station. The red-brick property has an ornate façade fronting Acton High Street (A4020). It consists of two storeys with part third storey. It is part of a set of historic civic buildings including the Town Hall, swimming baths and Magistrates’ Court, which is sometimes known as the Redbrick Quarter because of their distinctive appearance. It was gifted to the people of Acton in 1900 by Passmore Edwards. Despite its iconic appearance, its status as an Asset of Community Value, its history and its central location, it has not been of any benefit to the community since it closed in 2014.
Our Project aims to lease re-purposed this historic building to include a two- screen cinema, a bar/café, and a performance space on the ground floor. The upper floors will provide a rented space. The project aims to benefit all the residents of, and visitors to, Acton through the provision of a centrally located, welcoming, community space. Our outcomes will include regeneration of the high street and revival of the night time economy while promoting community cohesion through the provision of a much-needed destination for residents. By occupying the Old Library on Acton High Street we will also be preserving an historic building for the public use it was originally intended for.