The results of a consultation by Nottingham City Council has identified that 85% of people would like to see a new library located in the revamped Broadmarsh area – many seeing it as a fantastic addition to the emerging new site.
The consultation, answered by over 1,500 people, was overwhelmingly in support of a new, bespoke Central Library as part of the redeveloped Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station site, befitting of Nottingham’s status as a UNESCO City of Literature.
The consultation suggested some excellent ideas for the future library, including how a children’s library could look and what facilities would make it the best in the country. People asked for a bold, interactive, colourful and vibrant space where children can explore books, ideas and activities in an environment specifically aimed at them, as well as quiet and creative spaces for adults.
Although the consultation has already provided some great ideas, the council will continue to look to local people for input into the design and layout of the new library to help make it an inspirational space for Nottingham’s residents and visitors.
A new library could become an exciting new destination in the revitalised Broadmarsh area, which includes the new look intu Broadmarsh, the world class heritage destination of Nottingham Castle and the new Nottingham College City Hub. The new Central Library would benefit from the pedestrianised surrounding streets and being close to the train station, tram and bus services, new parking facilities and improved cycle and pedestrian links.
Central Library facilities will still be provided at Angel Row as plans are formed and confirmed for the new library. These plans could eventually lead to the sale and redevelopment of the Angel Row site, which would mean a brand new Central Library can be purpose-built at Broadmarsh for an estimated one-off net cost of around £3 million. More detailed work will now take place around design and costings.
In advance of a formal decision being taken, planning permission will now be sought for this option, as alterations to the previous Broadmarsh Car Park and Bus Station building plans would be necessary.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of the City Council, said: “The consultation was pretty clear – people like the idea of a new Central Library that we can design and build from scratch to best suit the city’s and our children’s needs for the future. It will be a welcome addition to an area we are doing a lot of work on.
“The redevelopment of the Broadmarsh area will transform this area of the city. Adding state of the art children’s facilities in a new high quality Central Library and children’s facilities will make this an even more exciting development for Nottingham.
“We know it’s taken some time, and we know there is the potential for some disruption, but we are planning everything carefully to make sure we make the most of the opportunity to completely change the Broadmarsh area for the better.”
Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities, said: “We are absolutely delighted that so many people got involved in the consultation. It really shows how important libraries still are to the people of Nottingham and be rest assured that we will take the encouraging comments and constructive suggestions and ideas on board when planning the new library for the city.
“We are committed to creating an imaginative and innovative space for young children in particular, although we aim to encourage all walks of life to use the library spaces and to embrace and enjoy opportunities for lifelong learning and development.”
Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said: “The fantastic response to the consultation shows how important the Central Library is to the people of Nottingham, and how what they need from a Central Library can vary enormously.
“This feedback is crucial in helping the city form a framework to take the Central Library development forward. We know that the new Central Library will have state-of-the-art facilitates, but libraries are more than books, IT services and buildings. They are all about people, places and partnerships and we need to apply these basic principles when designing a new central library.
“We need the city council to listen throughout the design and build process, so I’m especially pleased to see their commitment to working closely with the local community and friends of library groups to deliver an imaginative, sustainable and well-used Central Library for years to come.”