Nottingham City Council is undertaking a deal which will allow it to develop brand new library facilities in the city centre.
The council has sold its Angel Row library site to developers Henry Boot which provides funding for the council to reinvest in a new and updated library facility. It also paves the way for an increase in Grade A office space to be created, meeting the demand for top quality office space in the city centre and keeping office development in the city centre where it needs to be.
The sale of the Angel Row site will mean money becomes available for a new library facility, as the current site is tired and not very adaptable to the changing needs of library users. The sale also allows the City Council to make the most of its resources at a time when councils continue to face significant Government cuts to their budgets – with some closing libraries to save money.
Despite budget pressures, the City Council has continued to invest in libraries as part of creating joint service centres such as Bulwell Riverside, Mary Potter Centre in Hyson Green and the St Ann’s Valley Centre which all contain modern library facilities, as well as other local libraries and the new Dales Centre, a modern replacement for Sneinton and Bakersfield libraries and eventually Strelley Road. The council has a long-standing commitment to provide an improved central library and the deal with Henry Boot will allow that commitment to be met.
Negotiations are ongoing with Henry Boot about the scale of office space and scope for a library in the new building. However, there is a possibility the library could move elsewhere in the city centre to ensure the best service is provided for library users. The City Council is, however, committed to a more modern library facility than currently exists in Angel Row and are committed to working with Henry Boot to provide these facilities during construction.
Cllr Jon Collins, Leader of the City Council, said: “The council has always been committed to our central library and library facilities across the city, given the range of services they provide for all citizens.
“Central Library isn’t just a place to borrow free books – it provides services for older people to come and meet and learn to use new technology, for mums and tots, schoolchildren, jobseekers, newcomers to the country looking to learn English, housing advice, access to free computers and wi-fi, local history investigation and research and so much more. It would be ludicrous to lose such important services in a city centre and has never been our intention.
“Henry Boot are committed to providing the kind of top end office space businesses have been crying out for and helps us achieve our pledge to provide a new, revamped central library facility to meet the future needs of our citizens and visitors to the city. I understand people’s concerns about the sale and where the library will go but rest assured – there will be a central library in Nottingham.”