A new library and community building, as part of the regeneration project of Thamesmead, has officially opened to the public.

The new library and community centre opened its doors to Thamesmead residents on April 12, revealing a new library which will be run by Bexley Borough.

The Nest Community Building and Library, which is based in Cygnet Square, was built by Durkan and is part of housing association Peabody’s plans to regenerate the neighbourhood.

Tim Carpenter, managing director of construction at Durkan, said: “It’s great to see The Nest now open for local residents to enjoy. Creating and investing in communities is an important part of the regeneration of South Thamesmead, and is central to our work at Durkan.

“It has been a privilege to help design and build this new education and recreational space. We’re looking forward to seeing local people use and enjoy the community facility for years to come.”   

Alongside the new library, the building also houses several rooms, including an event space and dance studio that can house 100 people, a first-floor terrace and kitchen facilities.

The spaces will also be available for hire.

Residents were given the opportunity to tour the new library space and try a range of activities including storytelling, circus skills and a zine workshop.

Residents were also joined by the Leader of the London Borough of Bexley, Cllr Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE, and Bexley’s Mayor, Cllr Nick O’Hare, who opened the building.

Cllr Baroness O’Neill of Bexley OBE said: “It was great to be able to come along today and welcome residents to our newest library.

“I feel sure that many of them will be back to make the most of this fantastic new facility.

“It’s wonderful that we now have such an open modern space where people can read, learn and take part in community activities.”

The Nest Community Building and Library is part of an ongoing plan that Peabody is implementing for South Thamesmead.

The seven-phase plan is currently in its second phase, after Peabody completed initial plans to build 534 new homes, with 55 per cent of them being affordable, along with commercial space for shops and other services in Cygnet Square.

The second phase, which was approved this spring, is set to provide 329 mixed-tenure homes in South Thamesmead, 42% of which will be affordable.

Construction work is set to commence later this year.

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John Lewis, Peabody’s executive director for Thamesmead, said: “It’s been wonderful to welcome so many people across Thamesmead to The Nest today.

“It’s a fantastic community space, and we look forward to residents making the most of all it has to offer.

"Today was a great opportunity to share more information about the many activities, events and services in the community, and to hear a bit more about our long term plans for this fantastic town.

“We hope that residents come away feeling inspired and informed about the great things on offer and feel an increasing sense of pride and excitement about their home town.”