Wednesday 19 January 2022
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Nottingham

Nottingham Central Library ‘big priority’ but no opening date fixed yet

Nottingham City Council says one of its biggest priorities is to open a new Central Library but an exact date on opening is still up in the air.

Thousands of books and records from the former library on Angel Row are currently being stored at an industrial unit two miles from the city centre, next to Stonebridge City Farm.

Nottingham City Council has already created a new state-of-the-art Central Library at the Broad Marsh bus station and car park, which was due to open in 2021.

In March this year council leader David Mellen (Lab) confirmed the opening of the new library would be delayed until 2022, when the Angel Row building had been sold off to developers.

Some of the money from the sale could be used to furnish the new central library, the council said.

But negotiations on the sale have still not been completed, Cllr Mellen said.

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In July, the opening got pushed back again to 2023.

Other funds to fit out the library would have come from a government Levelling Up bid, which the council missed out on on Wednesday, November 27, as part of a wider bid to demolish the rest of the Broadmarsh shopping centre.

Cllr Mellen says that the internal fit out would cost in the region of £10m.

But a professional design team will be consulted again to look at the fit out to provide an estimate.

He said: “Our ambition remains to create a new central library, and the building to house it has been completed as part of the Broadmarsh Car Park Scheme.

“We have now re-engaged the professional design teams to take this scheme forward to the next stage, which will enable us to finalise a detailed design of what the library will actually look like from the inside.

“Given the council’s financial position and the impact of Covid, it’s important that we review the scheme design first to ensure the library is going to deliver our ambition, deliver value for money and be fit for purpose.

“We will be able to update on timeframes for delivery only once that is complete.

“Our £20m bid for Levelling Up funding included an element for funding the internal fit-out of the library.

“As the bid was unsuccessful in the first round, we will be engaging with the Government who have offered feedback sessions to unsuccessful places to support applications into the next round of the Fund in spring next year.”

Cllr Mellen added: “We will open a library here and we are looking at whether the design is right. We may have to open it in stages, but we hope construction will start in the new year.”

The council is also looking at buildings and lands it owns and whether the sale of some of these assets could be put towards the fit out of the library as well.

Cllr Mellen added: “It is one of our biggest priorities.”

In April, Nottingham City Council spent £205,000 moving the central library’s stock from Angel Row to its temporary location at Woodfield Industries, on Stone Bridge Road. The temporary location is not open to the public.

 

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