Could Broadmarsh be the home for a new Central Library for Nottingham?

Nottingham City Council wants people’s views on an exciting new proposal to develop a modern Central Library in the revamped Broadmarsh Area. The proposal includes creating Britain’s best children’s library and plans to ensure that the people of Nottingham can enjoy a Central Library fit for future generations.

After successfully creating better libraries in neighbourhoods such as the Dales, Strelley, Hyson Green, St Ann’s and Bulwell, the council now wants to provide a new and impressive Central Library for Nottingham.

A public consultation has now been launched to seek people’s views on this exciting proposal. The consultation document is available to download and will run until 11pm on 16 September 2018.

The demolition of the old Broadmarsh car park and bus station has been completed to make way for shops, cafés, a modern car park and bus station. But instead of just more shops, the council is now proposing that this new development could house a new Nottingham Central Library.  At the heart of the revitalised Broadmarsh area, which includes the new Nottingham College City Hub, the world class heritage destination of Nottingham Castle and a new-look intu Broadmarsh, a new Central Library would benefit from pedestrianised surrounding streets and it would also be close to the train station, tram and bus services, new parking facilities and improved cycle and pedestrian links.

The other option is to keep Central Library where it is. However, the structure of the existing library building on Angel Row restricts how the space can be used and upgrading it would be a multi-million pound project. Birmingham recently spent £188m on their Central Library and Manchester spent £48m. The council cannot commit to this level of spending at a time when budget savings are needed. However, if the council sells and redevelops the Angel Row site, then a brand new Central Library can be purpose built at Broadmarsh for an estimated one-off net cost of about £3million.

A new Central Library at Broadmarsh would be an attractive and inspiring space.  It would have everything you would expect – quiet spaces for meeting and studying, IT equipment, free internet access, local studies and archives.  The City Council is also ambitious to build Britain’s best children’s library as part of this new Central Library development – creating a destination for parents to bring their children and enjoy time exploring a world of stories, ideas and activities.

Cllr Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We want to provide a bright, new Central Library. Nottingham is a UNESCO City of Literature. We have a rich literary heritage and children’s literacy is a big priority for us. We want our children to have access to books, learning, imagination and ideas. That’s why we’re ambitious to build Britain’s best children’s library as part of a new Central Library development.

“When the redevelopment of the Angel Row site was first proposed, we committed to consult on any plans and now we’re asking Nottingham people if they think a new Central Library is a good idea. We also want their views about what a future library should be like. We want to build Britain’s best children’s library, so we are also asking children to send us their designs for their dream library. I’m sure we’re going to get lots of creative ideas.”

No decision has yet been taken about whether or not to go ahead and create a new Central Library. The council is carrying out the public consultation, and will review the results, before deciding whether to develop the proposals further and submit a planning application in the autumn.

The consultation, running until 11pm on 16 September 2018, will ask if the City Council should take the opportunity of redeveloping the Broadmarsh Area to create a modern Central Library. As part of the public consultation children will be asked to ‘Design Your Dream Library’ with £10 book tokens being awarded for the most creative ideas.

There are many ways to take part in the public consultation:

The consultation will close at 11pm on Sunday 16 September 2018.

 

Share this post!