Lytham Institute is the beautiful red brick gothic style building on the corner of Clifton Street and Bannister Street. It’s owned by Fylde Council and once housed the library.
In Autumn 2016, Lancashire County Council carried out a spending review. A number of libraries across Lancashire were scheduled for closure. Lytham Library, housed at Lytham Institute, was one of them.
After the spending review, a number of other affected libraries were reopened. That was either through political pressure or by being taken over by the community. Lytham library service moved to the Assembly Rooms in 2019.
The Future of Lytham Institute
Fylde Councillors agreed, at a Finance and Democracy Committee on 22 July 2019, to register Lytham Institute as a charitable trust. They aim to seek advice from the Charity Commission on the governance and future management of the trust.
Until 2016, Lancashire County Council (LCC) used over half of the building for the library service and registration office. The rest of it was community facilities and meeting rooms, run by Fylde Council.
The library service has moved to the Assembly Rooms. LCC’s rights to use the building expired in October 2019. Although the Heritage Trust and Lytham St Annes Civic Society use the building for storage of records and artefacts, it’s still under-used.
The next step is consultation with the community to find out how the building can be best used to meet the objectives of the new Trust.
History of Lytham Institute
The building more recently known as Lytham library was originally built as a Mechanics Institute. Opened on 30 August 1878 at a cost of £3000, it included a small library of books and a reading room.
In 1898 a new reading room, gymnasium and classrooms were added at a cost of £1500. The extension was added to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and opened by the Duke of Norfolk.
Later, in 1922, the library became part of the Municipal Borough of Lytham St Annes. That was at the time when St Anne’s on the Sea and Lytham Urban District Councils were amalgamated. In 1974 the administration of the library was taken over by Lancashire County Council.
Where to find the Building
27 Clifton Street,
Lytham St Annes,
Lancashire, FY8 5EP
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