Unsupported browser

For a better experience please update your browser to its latest version.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Birmingham library plans revealed as Rogers officially dropped

  • Comment
Funding is now being sought for a replacement for Richard Rogers' 'notoriously expensive' Birmingham library scheme.

The city council revealed its plans earlier this week for a split-site scheme, to follow on from plans by Rogers, which were scrapped earlier this year after their projected costs soared to as high as £300 million. The alarm bell over costs first sounded last autumn (AJ 09.09.05).

New £147.4 million proposals feature a lending library in a purpose-built building in the city centre and the city archives and reference section in an extension to Millennium Point in the Eastside development area.

A council spokesperson confirmed that the appointment of architects to carry out the refurbishment and extension is dependent on a £55 million PFI funding package currently being considered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. No date for their decision has yet been finalised.

The DCMS announced in November 2004 a bidding round for £130 million of PFI funds available for library projects nationally.

The split-site scheme is the council's preferred option of three choices to house new library facilities. The council claims that 'a new contemporary building in Centenary Square [in the city centre] plus new high-quality facilities at Eastside would enable modern library standards to be met.'

The other options identified by the council in February were a complete new building at Rogers' Eastside site - which would cost £179.5 million - or a complete refurbishment of existing library facilities at Paradise Circus - £124.5 million.

A final option was the £152.4 million refurbishment of the Grade II-listed Baskerville House but this building was deemed inappropriate for modern library use.

by Rob Sharp

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.