London Metropolitan University is seeking a potential buyer for Wright & Wright’s Women’s Library in Whitechapel, east London
The £6.5 million building could be sold just 11 years after opening because its owner – London Metropolitan University – is attempting to save £1 million-a-year from its upkeep.
The library hosts the UK’s largest collection of women’s history and a trade union collection which could be relocated under the plans. A statement on the library’s website says the university’s board of governors is seeking a new home, custodian or sponsor of The Women’s Library’s collections.
Clare Wright of Wright & Wright Architects said: ‘The Women’s Library was designed as a home of appropriate quality for the outstanding, internationally significant Fawcett Library Collections, then housed in a leaking basement.
She added: ‘While I sympathise with the university’s financial plight, it is difficult to see how matters will be resolved by seeking a new home for the collections.
‘The building was designed specifically to house this world class library in the right environment to ensure its long-term survival. I cannot see what suitable alternative would be cheaper or what alternative use there might be for the building.’
A London Metropolitan spokesperson said: ‘The university is currently trying to find a new home for The Women’s Library Collections and building , and we are currently in the process of talking to interested parties.’
If a buyer is not found by December, the library will open one day a week for the next three years.
Future uncertain for Wright & Wright Women’s Library