WORKS to Barrow Library costing up to £1 million will include improvements to fix leaks, make it more accessible and improve fire safety.

Official plans have show that the Grade II-listed property - described as of potential “national architectural importance” - is structurally sound.

But a flat roof above the research area is reportedly leaking due to condensation, while a wall near the existing staff work room is letting in water.

Architects have said these issues need to be investigated as part of the repair plan.

The library was first opened 96 years ago in October 1922.

Operators Cumbria County Council are now seeking Listed Building Consent to “remodel, preserve and repair” the landmark building at the junction of Duke Street, Abbey Road and Ramsden Square.

The plans are currently out to public consultation for feedback.

A report said that despite “numerous internal alterations,” the library still contains many significant features.

These include the decorative plaster, the ceiling cornices of the original rooms, timber panelling and panelled doors.

It is proposed that on the first floor, new publicly-accessible spaces would be created and a refurbishment of the lift is needed.

A new outside fire escape staircase would also be put in from the first floor to the ground floor yard.

New toilets for men and women would go in along with an accessible toilet for people with disabilities on the first floor level.

Other areas of the library, including the basement, would also be “remodelled”, with new windows and a fire exit door where the footpath leads from Abbey Road to Hawke Street.

On the ground floors, there would be meeting rooms, offices, stores, a local studies area and better facilities for people with disabilities.

A report to council planners said the library site was chosen in 1913. It was bought from the Furness Railway to build a new library financed by the Carnegie Foundation.

The report said: “The library is a building of regional architectural importance and arguably of national architectural importance.”

Its construction began during the early years of the First World War, however work was halted and the building was partially covered until works could resume.