THE derelict Carnegie Library – known as an eyesore at the entrance to Shipley – has undergone an artistic transformation and facelift thanks to its owner and community effort.

The listed building, at the notorious junction of Leeds Road and Crag Road, had become covered with trees and summer weeds, prompting complaints to its owner John Lamb, boss of Carlton Care Group, based opposite the dilapidated building.

Inaction over plans led by Morrisons, and approved by Bradford Council two years ago, to demolish and rebuild the library as part of a new supermarket and housing project had also prompted fears for its future.

But yesterday, 16 huge murals painted by volunteers at Windhill Community Centre were installed over its windows and all the trees and shrubs removed from its roof and fixtures.

Mr Lamb explained the latest development and said the library was no longer part of the proposed Morrisons and Skipton Properties scheme – which has not been officially shelved.

“I bought it in 2006 simply because I’m Bradford-born and I liked the building.

“People were split about what to do with it, some wanted it pulled down and others said it’s a lovely building and should stay.”

Mr Lamb was then granted planning permission to turn it into flats, subject to sufficient parking.

But wrangles over a suitable land parcel prevented that from taking place.

In 2013 he began discussions regarding its inclusion in the proposed supermarket plan, which would then have allowed for road junction improvements

But Mr Lamb said that would not now take place. “The Carnegie Library is no longer for sale or to be part of any relocation plan. I’m going to decide on the future of it myself,” he said.

“I was approached about having artwork put up about two years ago and got a phone call a couple of days ago to say it was ready.

“I thought if they want to brighten the place up, I’ll help, so I’ve used my maintenance lads to give a day to it and tidy it all up too,” he said.

Community worker Jeff Bennett, who organises the Active Window project which created the murals, said: “It’s an initiative about getting people to be pro-active and create a feelgood factor. We work with people who only have a few hours to spare and it’s taken some time, but today was just the right day for it to happen.

“I’m very pleased with it and really proud of those who took part – it shows we’ve got a bit of class in Windhill!”

Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Lab, Windhill and Wrose), who has strongly supported the art project, said: “Over the years this building has become a real eyesore.

“The pictures have been painted by the craft group and children, involving the local community and at the same time improving the look of the building.”