Support for plan to keep Sheffield Central Library in present location

Central Library.
Central Library.

Sheffield Star readers have welcomed plans that could see the city's Central Library remain in its present location instead of being moved.

Sheffield Council outlined its ambition to turn the entire Central Library and Graves Art Gallery building on Surrey Street into a landmark arts venue, moving the library service into modern premises in the Heart of the City II scheme.

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The proposal emerged in December last year when the authority admitted the Grade II-listed site was highly unlikely to be converted into a five-star hotel, an idea the council's Chinese investment partner, Sichuan Guodong Group, spent 12 months exploring as part of a £1 billion, six-decade agreement.

But in a public consultation into its 10-year regeneration strategy for the city centre, the council said the library could in fact remain in its present location alongside the Graves Gallery.

The survey said: "We want to repair the Graves Art Gallery building to provide a new cultural hub, with the Central Library either refurbished or moved to a new equally central location."

Dozens of Star readers have taken to Facebook to outline their support for the library to remain where it is.

Sue Archer said: "Love that building - hasn’t Sheffield seen enough public buildings changed or even knocked down?"

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Denise Roulson added: "It should stay were it is but make it a bit more accessible for wheelchair users."

Debbie Mayor described the library as a "beautiful building" and added: "It would be such a shame too see it go. I and my family use it all the time."

Victoria Sigsworth agrees that a revamped library should be easier for disabled people to use as currently "wheelchair users have to use the back entrance."

In December it was stated that any new facility would incorporate a traditional lending service alongside computers, places to meet, a performance space, café, children’s library and room for the city archives.

While refurbishing the current site is being considered, new sites have also been looked at including land near Barker's Pool.

Sichuan Guodong Group's enthusiasm for a hotel at the site was dampened when the significant costs associated with the scheme became apparent.

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Other aspects of the city centre plan will be explored before it is due to be adopted by the council at the end of the year.

No opening date has been announced yet for a revamped or newly opened central library.