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Midlands regeneration: Carnegie library converted into modern homes

Claremont Property Group recently completed work on a Grade II listed Carnegie library in the West Midlands town of Stourbridge, converting ‘The Old Library’ in Hagley Road into 22 modern town centre apartments.

The scheme from the property developer and investor, part of a multi-million pound residential development, was completed after a two-year conversion project.

Over half of the one and two-bedroom apartments at the three-storey Edwardian building have already been acquired off-plan by a mixture of local owner-occupiers and buy-to-let investors. 

The building, built in 1905 with funds donated by wealthy Scottish-American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, has been used as both a library and an educational establishment and boasts many original architectural features which the team have painstakingly restored or replicated during the conversion project.

This includes bespoke plasterwork, an ornate spiral staircase, and the original stained-glass windows featuring the images of William Shakespeare and renowned physicist Lord Kelvin.   

Thanks to the way in which the building is arranged, each of The Old Library’s 22 apartments ‘is entirely unique’, with many of the units incorporating mezzanine flooring, utilising the high ceilings and the natural light provided by the building’s large windows. 

“We are delighted to have completed work on the conversion of The Old Library,” Manjit Deol, co-founder of Claremont Property Group, said.  

“This project has been a labour of love, borne out of a desire to deliver high-quality, contemporary living in a way that celebrates the traditional features of an historic building. We could have embarked upon a much more typical residential development but we wanted to breathe new life into The Old Library and provide a whole new generation of people with the opportunity to gain pleasure from spending time here.” 

He added that Stourbridge is an ideal base for professionals on the move, and ‘extremely well-connected’ by road and rail, so the company expects there to be considerable interest in the remaining apartments. “Living at the Old Library offers a completely unique experience and given the success of our off-plan sales, there is clearly a local demand for purchasing a slice of history,” Deol continued. 

The Old Library in Stourbridge town centre is approximately 15 miles to the west of Birmingham and 12 miles to the south of Wolverhampton, while the building is located just a few minutes’ walk from a range of shops and services, including nearby Stourbridge Town station. The station has connections to Stourbridge Junction, which has train lines feeding into Birmingham and Kidderminster.

From Hagley Road, car-based commuters can access Dudley and Birmingham via the A458, while there are also connections to the M5 motorway via Wildmoor.

Claremont Property Group, founded by Manjit Deol and his sister, Perm Saini, in 1999, has started to build a reputation for investing in and repurposing historic buildings. 

The firm is currently working on ‘ambitious plans’ for the multi-million pound residential conversion of an historic former ‘flatted factory’ in Birmingham city centre.

The project is one of three similar residential schemes that Claremont plans to deliver in the West Midlands in the coming years. 

The conversion of the Old Library was designed by architects Corstorphine + Wright and completed by building contractor Logmoor, with interior design courtesy of Suzanne Barnes Design Partnership. 

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