A new ultra-modern library, a replacement for the old Central Library on Angel Row street at the heart of the city centre, is ready to open its doors to the public this summer 2023 after the work to turn the building into a modern library has been completed, Nottingham City Council has announced.
Councillors approved plans for work to get underway on Nottingham’s new Central Library in July, creating a landmark development at the heart of the city’s regenerated Southside.
The replacement for the old Central Library on Angel Row will be ready to open to the public next summer after the work to turn the building into a modern library has been completed.
The news of the new city central library opening has excited many a citizen while at the same time it has not gone well with many others.
Roselyn Ogbonna, 36, a mother of three girls from Meadows, reacting to the news said: “I cannot wait for this great facility to open. My kids will love it.”
The City Council’s Executive Board was told that a number of assessments of the design and affordability of the scheme have been carried out and that careful management of the city’s property portfolio and successful sales have allowed £10.5m to be identified within the council’s capital programme for the work.
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, and so also involves installing new floors, lifts, electrics, and plumbing.
The former main library on Angel Row closed in March 2020 due to pandemic restrictions, but it has not reopened, and the building is being sold off, The Mojatu Online has established.
However, some city residents, who are campaigning to save outlying libraries earmarked for closure in a savings programme, have questioned the move.
Stewart Halforty, of the Save Nottingham Libraries Campaign, said: “We are horrified that the council can find more than £10m for a new library when for a tiny fraction of that they can keep open three beautiful libraries in some of the most deprived parts of Nottingham.
“We need a Central Library, and we are over the moon that it will finally be opening.
“But parents don’t want to drag children into a city centre of an evening and park in an expensive car park, they want to take them somewhere a short stroll from their house.”
The new library
Spread over three floors and fully accessible via lifts, the new library 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 and ground floor reception area which can be converted into a performance space
The library will also include 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 and business intellectual centre for the city and business Intellectual Property Centre for the city.
The Central Library’s depth of stock and specialist collections is seen as a fundamental part in fulfilling the city’s Library Strategy and a key link to ensuring and supporting community library delivery and development.
The new library building is surrounded by transformed streets, with extensive pedestrianisation, planting and seating offering pleasant places to walk, cycle and relax.
Similar work is also planned for Collin Street alongside the new library to become fully pedestrianised, with a new plaza planned to 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.
The first Nottingham Public Lending Library opened in 1868.
It was opened by Mayor John Barber and situated on Thurland Street in premises formerly used by Artisans’ Library.
It contained almost 10,000 books, 400 members signed up on the first day and 70,512 books were issued in the first year.
One of the key elements of the regeneration of the city’s Southside area, the library 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.
The replacement for the old Central Library on Angel Row will be ready to open to the public summer 2023 after the work to turn the building into a modern, creative and community orientated space has been completed.
“We are horrified that the council can find more than £10m for a new library when for a tiny fraction of that they can keep open three beautiful libraries in some of the most deprived parts of Nottingham.”Stewart Halforty
Save Nottingham Libraries Campaign,