While the progression for the new Central Library continues at pace as part of the new Broadmarsh Car Park, Bus Station and retail development, a decision has been made to not re-open the Nottingham Central Library at its current location on Angel Row, since its closure on Friday 20 March following the COVID-19 lockdown.
The plans take advantage of the opportunity while demand for Nottingham City library services is lower in the city centre, using the time to prepare the building for transfer rather than offering a limited service in a complex building with COVID-19 restrictions in place.
Although there may be disappointment that the Angel Row site will have a temporary interruption to library services, it will enable the City Council to speed up the sale of the Angel Row site and for the fit-out of the new Central Library to be completed at faster rate than previously anticipated.
Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said:“The delivery of new Central Library remains a key priority for the council. We have funds ring-fenced for the delivery of this scheme and in these difficult times it has been heartening to see the new Broadmarsh Car Park development emerge and the space for the new Central Library take shape.
“As we start the next phase of the works at Broadmarsh, with road changes underway in the area to create a more pedestrian friendly space, I can’t wait to see the new library open and for it to become a popular destination for people in the city, with what will be one of the best children’s library in the country.
“Following the closure of intu Broadmarsh, it is even more important that we continue to build the infrastructure and the confidence in this area to help lead its regeneration. The new Central Library, Nottingham Castle transformation and the New Nottingham College are key components for what will be an exciting future for this area of the city.”
The new Central Library development recently saw the installation of its façade which the council worked on with a local design agency. It is just one of a number of unique creative elements of the development, and highlights the progression of the building, its use as a library and its connection with poetry and language.
Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and IT, said:“I’m proud of the track record Nottingham has for investing in quality library provision, especially our local libraries that we have continually invested in over the last few years. Unlike many cities, we have continued to develop a strong network of neighbourhood libraries which is allowing us to now move forward and complete the new Central Library emerging at Broadmarsh. I am excited about the designs I have seen for the new library and the positive feedback received when these were shared more widely with the public.
“While I appreciate the closure of the current Central Library will be an inconvenience, this will only be a temporary interruption in services while the Angel Row site is sold and allows us to complete the new library fit-out works. Importantly, and in preparation for this change, we have been holding a number of job vacancies in the library service to help manage this change and this will help minimise any job losses.”
Sandeep Mahal, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said:“We recognise that the Central Library is vital to the people of Nottingham, and while the closure of the Angel Row site is sad, it’s necessary. There’s no point re-opening a building that cannot support government measures to keep people safe. During this time, and while we count down to the grand opening of a new central library in late 2021, we are urging Nottingham City Council to do all they can to ensure that disruption is minimised by making more of their services available on the 24/7 digital library. The landmark southern gateway development of a world-class modern central library fit for the 21st century will soon be a reality and worth the wait.”
The City Council has recently undertaken a phased reopening of its fifteen community libraries, and is on track to reopen its remaining libraries by Monday 17 August. These will continue to benefit communities using the library in their local area. For more information on all open libraries and their facilities, visit: www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/libraries/coronavirus
Over the coming months, Nottingham City Council will be working to decommission the current Central Library, with a large part of the team involved in dealing with closing up the library, including transferring resources and sessions to many community libraries and helping complete detailed design works for the new Central Library. More details will follow in the future about further development of the new Central Library.