Bradford Central Library could re-open in the summer

Bradford Central Library could reopen as early as this summer if £2 million repairs are given the go ahead by councillors, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal.

It brings to an end months of uncertainty after the eight-floor building which closed last year after being identified as a fire risk.

The T&A exclusively reported last October that emergency work had to be carried out to make the central staircase safe because, in its former state, it would act as a makeshift flue in the event of a blaze.

Now, it is understood, a decision has been made to make all the public library floors, including those housing the meeting rooms and the archives, safe to bring them back into public use.

The initial estimated £4 million bill is expected to be halved because the work will not take place on the top floors which are only accessible to Bradford Council employees. Other measures will be put in place to ensure their safety.

Since last autumn the public have only had access to the ground and first floors with many groups, including Bradford Family History Society, forced to move elsewhere.

It is understood options, including moving the library, were shelved because the floors have to be strengthened to take the weight of books, and the Central Library was built for that purpose. Money to repair the library, including sealing off more of the staircase to make it fire safe, would need to be taken from the reserve fund of the Council, but it is not known when the bid for that will take place. Councillor Dave Green, the Council’s executive member for culture, said a final decision about the building will be made by the Council next week.

He said: “We have been working extremely hard to come up with viable options for the future of the library service and are expecting to be in a position to make a definitive statement on the future of the Central Library at full Council on Tuesday.”

He had said that a number of buildings were being looked at as alternatives.

He had said: “It is not just simply finance, we need to know whether other buildings are stable and built in such a way can support several tons of books. I am hoping there is a clear option being put to us, as we can't carry on with the current situation. The sooner we make a decision the better.”

Comments (8)

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10:35am Fri 23 Mar 12

mark04 says...

Seems a straight forward decision,spend the 2 million,this is still a good building,Bradford does not need another empty office block.
Seems a straight forward decision,spend the 2 million,this is still a good building,Bradford does not need another empty office block. mark04
  • Score: 0

10:41am Fri 23 Mar 12

Avro says...

That's odd, the repair bill was quoted as £4 million!

http://www.thetelegr
aphandargus.co.uk/ne
ws/9327947.__4m_repa
irs_bill_could_force
_central_library_mov
e/
That's odd, the repair bill was quoted as £4 million! http://www.thetelegr aphandargus.co.uk/ne ws/9327947.__4m_repa irs_bill_could_force _central_library_mov e/ Avro
  • Score: 0

10:44am Fri 23 Mar 12

Avro says...

"The initial estimated £4 million bill is expected to be halved because the work will not take place on the top floors which are only accessible to Bradford Council employees"

Employee safety not matter then?
"The initial estimated £4 million bill is expected to be halved because the work will not take place on the top floors which are only accessible to Bradford Council employees" Employee safety not matter then? Avro
  • Score: 0

11:03am Fri 23 Mar 12

Yammer says...

I'm looking forward to seeing plants growing on the walls. ;)
I'm looking forward to seeing plants growing on the walls. ;) Yammer
  • Score: 0

11:36am Fri 23 Mar 12

ohgreat3 says...

presumably the already poor selection of books available will be reduced to help offset the cost of repairs
presumably the already poor selection of books available will be reduced to help offset the cost of repairs ohgreat3
  • Score: 0

11:45am Fri 23 Mar 12

Cooperlane2 says...

The easiest way to pay for this would be to reallocate the £3m+ that was reserved to buy the T&A print house.
The easiest way to pay for this would be to reallocate the £3m+ that was reserved to buy the T&A print house. Cooperlane2
  • Score: 0

3:10pm Fri 23 Mar 12

Yorkshire Lass says...

Good news but don't hold your breath. On the Council's previous record not much is done on time (City Park and Westfield being prime examples) but to say the work will be completed by summer seems a little ambitious really.
Good news but don't hold your breath. On the Council's previous record not much is done on time (City Park and Westfield being prime examples) but to say the work will be completed by summer seems a little ambitious really. Yorkshire Lass
  • Score: 0

6:26pm Fri 23 Mar 12

A650 says...

Good to hear it's not being closed. Hopefully the works will come in on time and on budget.
Good to hear it's not being closed. Hopefully the works will come in on time and on budget. A650
  • Score: 0

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