Old Library

Completed: 2022
Location: Mansfield
Region: East Midlands
Other local partners: Nottinghamshire County Council, Dulux, GAP Tool Hire, UK Government

About the project

A standout project in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council and the UK Government Community Renewal Fund*.

The project:

Renovating a Grade II listed venue in the heart of Mansfield, The Old Library, used for community arts activities, including a makeover through extensive painting & decorating to its interiors and community cafe, to celebrate its 25th anniversary and revitalise the venue ahead of a busy summer of arts activity and performance.

The young people: 17 young people aged 16+ were referred by two local youth organisations: Inspire Culture and Vision West Nottinghamshire College

The impact:

  • Interiors, lobby and cafe space upgraded to make it more welcoming
  • Multiple onsite work-readiness training sessions delivered by Travis Perkins
  • Visit from Executive Mayor for Mansfield, Andy Abrahams (pictured right)
  • Platforms donated by GAP Tool Hire
  • 7 of the learners have been supported by VIY in accessing and progressing to construction-related further training and employment opportunities
  • Dominic Thompson, aged 22, who was NEET on joining VIY, had no past experience in trade skills or interest in construction. He spent three weeks on the project, gaining an Entry Level 3 City & Guilds qualification in Painting & Decorating and has now successfully progressed post-VIY into a formal/higher level Painting & Decorating course and is looking to gain full time employment as a Decorator once finished

Accreditations gained: 15 young people achieved a City & Guilds Entry Level 3 accreditation in Painting & Decorating 

*You can find more information, on the UK Government’s Community Renewal Fund here.

As a former teacher, I know that practical work experience is an invaluable part of learning. Working alongside local tradespeople will not only help develop their skills, but improve their confidence and inspire them to reach their full potential - hopefully leading to good quality employment. We want as many of our district's young people as possible to take advantage of free opportunities like this. I'm so pleased that community assets in Mansfield are also benefiting from this project - it really is a win-win for all involved. Andy Abrahams, Executive Mayor for Mansfield
It's been fantastic working with VIY and their young volunteers and mentors. The young people have worked extremely hard over the 2 weeks and have done a fantastic job rejuvenating the interior which was beginning to feel quite tired. It's been a great partnership effort and we are pleased that we have been able to play a part in supporting local young people to gain new skills and take their first steps on the ladder of a possible new career. Sam Holgate-Davey, Principal Arts Officer, Inspire Youth Arts
With me doing this now, I’m working on my painting and decorating [qualification] just so that I can get as many qualifications as I possibly can to succeed in finding an apprenticeship after this. Now I’ll go back and continue to get as much information and make as much progress as possible. Daniel Sherwood, 17, young VIY Volunteer
It’s great to hear that the funding which the county council helped secure is now benefiting those who really need it. Projects such as this one based at the iconic Old Library are helping give young people the work experience, confidence and job skills they need to give them a head start towards a better future. Cllr Ben Bradley MP, Nottinghamshire County Council Leader