Shot of Nottingham Central Library Sign as you walk in

Opening of Nottingham Central Library

Countdown is on to the opening of the new Nottingham Central Library

There’s less than one week to go until the opening of the new Central Library.

The new facility, which is at the heart of the Broad Marsh regeneration area official opens its doors on Tuesday 28 November 2023.

The opening day starts at 9.30am when people are invited to join the Lord Mayor Carole McCulloch, as she officially opens the library in a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The library will then open its doors, with lots of activity happening including free bookable guided tours for the public and people can sign up for their limited-edition library card. There is also an audio trail with QR codes, linking to voice clips and interviews on stories from the local area spanning several decades.

Children from two different primary schools: Sneinton Church of England and Mellers Primary school have been invited down to the opening to explore the library where the Leader of the Council, Cllr David Mellen will be reading children’s stories and the Lord Mayor of Nottingham will gift some books to the Schools Library therefore linking them to the new Central Library.

The library, which is part of the new Broad Marsh Car Park and Bus Station complex, puts children, young people and learning at the heart of its design, with a high-quality children’s section, immersive storytelling room, extensive book collection and comfortable areas to sit and read.

Spread over three floors with full accessibility via lifts, the new Central Library contains over 180,000 books and reference materials, spread over nearly 2 kilometres of shelving. It has 58 computers along with a further 51 drop-in places and Free Wi-Fi to connect so people can work on-line.

The library also includes:

  • Feature-book walls and shelving to display a large collection of titles
  • A café and 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.

The new Central Library is a key element in the regeneration of Broad Marsh, which has already seen major transformation including new people-friendly, green public space created on Sussex Street next to Nottingham College.

Outside the new Central Library building on the old Collin Street, work is nearing completion on a new child friendly play space while nearby, the wildlife-rich Green Heart will soon begin to take shape.

Becoming carbon neutral by 2028 is a major ambition for Nottingham. The new library is part of the same building as the Broad Marsh bus station and car park that boasts 720 solar panels on the roof which are expected to save more than 53 tonnes of carbon per year –the equivalent of driving a standard car almost 500,000 miles. The car park has 81 fast EV charge points – the largest installation in one location in the UK.

Nottingham City Council worked with interior fit out and refurbishment specialists Overbury and consultancy firm Pick Everard, acclaimed architects FaulknerBrowns, M&E consultancy Chord, and Morgan Sindall Construction to transform the Central Library building.

Activities and events on offer at the Central Library

The library will offer a range of regular activities including sessions with Read Easy organisation supporting adult Literacy, Knit and Natter groups, Work Clubs, Messy Play, Tots Times, Conversation Café, Gaming Day for young people, Local Studies Group, Family History and Local History Consultations, and Business & IP Centre workshops to support small and start-up businesses.

The library will also host a monthly music and performance event and the first event to be announce before Christmas is SOUND AT CENTRAL on Friday 1 December from 7pm.

Bafta award winning TV writer and poet Henry Normal will perform, along with a DJ set from Bradley Jam from Jam Cafe and then 7-piece band Salmagundi will close the show. Tickets include a free drink and people can book their tickets here.

Special Christmas events have also been announced, including a Christmas Lights Switch-on with an evening of live music and a bauble hanging ceremony on 4 December. There is also a two-day Central Library Christmas Fayre, with local creators and small businesses in the heart of our vibrant city on the 4 and 5 December. More information can be found here.

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said:

I’m proud that we are opening a new library in the heart of the city. We want this to be a central hub for the community and especially for local children. The library includes a fantastic new section for children which we hope will encourage them to discover books and a love of reading.

“The library is part of the new complex with the Broad Marsh car park and bus station which opened two years ago. We look forward to opening the new Collin Street pedestrian area around the library with planting, places to sit and a new children’s play area. There are exciting changes happening around the Broad Marsh area and I would encourage people to come and visit for themselves.”

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture & Planning at Nottingham City Council, said: 

“We want this library to be a welcoming and trusted space for many, it is a fantastic, modern facility and is ambitious for the city. It is important for us to provide a comprehensive library service and we have invested in this new facility to meet these needs. The opening of this new library is an historic moment and something the city and its residents need, and it has so much to offer.”

Hannah Trevarthen, Director of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, said:

“This is a wonderful moment to celebrate the role that libraries play in changing lives and we are delighted that the new central library will soon be open with its ambition to be a hub for our communities, especially our young people. Our vision is of a city where everyone is reading and writing their way to a better life and working with the New Central library is a key part of our action plan as a UNESCO City of Literature. We look forward to this next stage of our story as an organisation.”

Andrew Wood, Managing Director at Overbury, said:

“This opening marks a significant milestone for the wider Broad Marsh regeneration. It is a transformative project, integrating a suite of educational, business and learning space all under one roof. We’re proud to have helped deliver Nottingham City Council’s vision, providing a high quality fit out with sustainable design and interactive features. It is a modern facility, fit for the future, which will become a vital part of the local community for generations to come.”

Posted on 27 November 2023

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Jack Woolley