Anticipation is building as work starts on the interior fit out of the new Central Library, which sits at the heart of the Broad Marsh regeneration area.

The work involves turning the shell of the building – part of the new Broad Marsh Car Park and Bus Station complex – into a modern library, with the installation of new floors, lifts, electrics and plumbing.

Nottingham City Council are working with interior fit out and refurbishment specialists Overbury and acclaimed architects FaulknerBrowns, M&E consultancy Chord and Morgan Sindall construction to transform the inside of the building.

The new library, spread over three floors and fully accessible via lifts, will feature a high-quality children’s library with an immersive story telling room, extensive book collection and comfortable areas to sit and read. Other amenities will include:

  • Feature book walls and shelving to display a large collection of books
  • Free Wi-Fi and free access to computers, laptops and iPads  
  • A café & ground floor reception area which can be converted into a performance space
  • Specialist and rare collections room for local study material
  • Learning lab for special activities and school class visits
  • Meeting rooms
  • Exhibition space
  • Creative design areas
  • Business Intellectual Property Centre for the city.

A new Central Library is one of the key elements of the regeneration of the city’s Southside area and will be surrounded by transformed streets – creating fully pedestrianised areas with planting and seating and a new plaza that would link through the demolished section of the former shopping centre to Lister Gate and the city centre beyond.

A masterplan is in place outlining a vision for the Broad Marsh site, including green space, an enhanced entrance to the City of Caves attraction and a mixture of housing, retail and leisure uses. Nottingham City Council has recently bid for £20m of Levelling Up funding to prepare the Frame of the derelict shopping centre to be transformed into a space to bring people together for play, performance and food, unlocking the wider vision for the site.

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture & Planning at Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s great to see that work is moving quickly and we’re at a really exciting stage where we will start to see our plans come to life as Overbury transform the interiors. 

“This library will meet the needs and expectations of our city’s residents, with a bright state-of-the-art facility – including a fantastic children’s library and some great features such as an immersive story telling room using the latest audio visual technology to help bring books alive.

“The new library will help to bring people into the area and with the wider regeneration work, these pedestrianised streets will give people a place to visit and enjoy, with the library and its cafe at the heart of this”

Andrew Wood, Managing Director at Overbury, said: “We are proud to be working in partnership with Nottingham City Council to deliver this exceptional new Central Library for the people of Nottingham. The library will be a fantastic creative and community orientated space, which Overbury and our partners will bring to life through all elements of the interior fit-out.

“Throughout the project, we also look forward to prioritising social value and sustainability. We have committed to building back into the local area by focusing project spend within the local Nottinghamshire area and the surrounding midlands region.

“Furthermore, part of the spend will be with not-for-profit local enterprises. Using our in-house carbon calculation tool ‘CarboniCa’, developed by Morgan Sindall plc, we will also measure the embodied carbon of the project.”