Case Study

Birkdale Community Hub and Library

Ownership: Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) – Charity Number 1153611

Location: The Station Master’s House
2 Liverpool Road, Birkdale, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 4AR

Contact information: 01704 566992



Newsletter: The quarterly Birkdale Buzz

Setting the Scene

The Birkdale Community Hub & Library charity was formed after the closure in 2013 of Birkdale’s council run library. Significant local feeling wanted a replacement for the library and a decision was made to try to employ the disused old Station Master’s House attached to Birkdale Station in Southport.

A lease was negotiated with Merseyrail and Network Rail to upgrade the dilapidated building. At the same time a big fund-raising effort was instituted. After several years of ups and downs, and a lot of hard work, the lease was agreed. By late 2019 there were enough funds for renovation work to start. After more support from both organisations and individuals the majority of the building work, furnishing and equipping was completed by October 2020 in the teeth of the Covid pandemic.

The Covid crisis meant that, although ready, they were not able to open until mid 2021.  They now have over 90 volunteers contributing over 300 hours of their time per week. They have 7000+ books which they source and manage themselves, including many large print and they offer a home visit service.

The Station Master’s House has three meetings rooms all with internet connected TVs and ethernet ports, and there is Wi-Fi connectivity throughout. One of the meeting rooms is a computer suite with six high spec PCs free to use for members (and membership is free).


In 2021 they installed a modern lift system for disabled access to the upper floor meeting room suites. They have also opened an annexe at Birkdale Methodist Church, which offers limited hours library facilities.

Aims and Objectives

  • Foster lifelong Learning



  • Provide opportunities to volunteer and make friends

  • Provide Facilities for Recreation and Leisure Time


  • Maintain a Sound Financial Structure and Strong Commercial Partnerships

22/23 Visitors


hours open per week

library members


Rhyme Time

Knit and Natter

Story Time

Shared Reading Group

Lego Fun

Computer Club

Welcome Spaces

Home Visit Book Lending

A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in a desert. There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the free public library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration

Andrew Carnegie