Wash Your Words is a new Library and Laundry Room based in Mereside, Blackpool.
The concept initially came from a previous LeftCoast project in the area, called Mereside at Play. Through funding from Better Start, we were undertaking a programme of creative engagement around the development of green spaces in the neighbourhood.
We began to hear information about the want for easily accessible washing facilities in the area. This made us wonder if it was possible to build a version of a modern day wash house, somewhere people could come together to wash clothes, but also chat, share wisdom and tell stories. What if we took this further and the washing of clothes was accompanied by watching a film or taking a dance class
Langdale Library & Laundry Room
In the summer of 2019 we commissioned Fylde Repair Café to pop up in various locations around the neighbour to test the theory. Would there be enough interest in being part of such a project, and the answer was a resounding yes.
Fast forward 3 years, and one global pandemic, and we are now at the stage where we are in partnership with Blackpool Council’s library service and Blackpool Costal Housing. We have acquired an empty office space in the main parade of shops and we are well on the way to building a new space with the community.
We have been on a year long journey with local residents to question and design a space that explores what role a multipurpose space embedded in a community could hold. A space built on what people want and deserve, thoughtfully and beautifully designed in collaboration with architects. A space that has the openness to question what happens if people are giving the opportunity to not only wash their clothes, but fix their clothes, watch a film and then take a book out.
It is not only testing a community ownership model but testing how we share facilities for both environmental and economic benefit.