Library plans finally confirmed

According to The Stirrer plans were revealed by the Council for the new Central Library building this weekend. Costing £193 million it will sit next to and incorporate the REP theatre in Centenary Square creating a “a new centre for learning and culture.” (Hang on, isn’t that what Eastside’s supposed to be?) Along with a shared entrance this will also give the REP a new mid-sized auditorium.

And Here’s the BCC page with all the details and a nice picture.


This shows “how Centenary Square could look in the future, following completion of the Library of Birmingham development (indicated in red), Arena Central and the redevelopment of Paradise Circus.” It’s expected to be completed in 2013 and “boost and consolidate the continued regeneration of the city centre’s Westside and the improvement of Centenary Square.”


  1. clare

    so what will happen with the old library. I know it’s probably not much loved but I think it’s a beautiful building that’s been left to crumble.

  2. As I understand it there’s a battle at the moment between those who would have it listed and those who would have it demolished. I believe the council is in favour of demolition but don’t hold me to that.

    Personally I like it as a structure (especially when approached from Centenary Sq) but I know people who work in the bowels think it a terrible place – sick building syndrome is often cited.

  3. personally i used to like the paradise square complex as it was before it was turned into paradise forum – i found the experience of walking through it to the school of music ‘dramatic’…

    i think the problem with the arguments put forward by the ‘friends of the central library’ is they’re missing the point that although it was perfectly designed to be a central lending library as libraries were 30 years ago, libraries need to be very different animals now, & the building really is now, to use the in vogue term, no longer fit for purpose.

    it’s a magnificent building which deserves listing & preservation to be sure – so those who would keep it would be better off wholeheartedly supporting the new library of birmingham concept whatever & wherever it ends up being, whilst at the same time campaigning for new uses for the existing building (hey – what about as part of the rationalisation of council buildings it becomes council offices ?!) rather than campaigning to keep it as a library.

  4. I support the current plans. We knew about the location a long time back and it was then that I was sceptical that they could actually fit a larger library on the site. The idea to combine the Rep and Library is a fantastic one though. We don’t need some councillor blurting the typical “world class” every now and then to realise that this could actually have potential.

    As for the current library, I think they could do with demolished the buildings either side and leaving the upturned ziggurat structure. This can then be preserved and listed. Of course, it’s going to need repair work as it is literally falling down now. I think it will be best to turn the areas either side of it into new walkways to Centenary Square as it is a bit of a bottleneck.

    As far as I am aware though, the council plan to have the site demolished and cleared to make way for a massive office development. I am supportive of that too as long as it respects the location. I don’t think we will be seeing any plans for that for another 5 years at least, though.

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