The Leeds Library is expanding!
We are delighted to announce that the Leeds Library has completed the acquisition of 15, Commercial Street, the property next door to our current home, in the first expansion of the Library from its original footprint in over 140 years.
After two years of challenge and uncertainty, the move is an investment in our future: 42,000 books stored off-site will be united under one roof; we will become fully-accessible for the first time (with a through-floor lift installed in the new annex as well as improved welfare facilities); and the additional space will allow us to expand our programme of events, creating a new venue for culture in the heart of our city.
The project represents an investment of over £1.2million, and has been made possible with financial support from the Architectural Heritage Fund and the Ecology Building Society together with a contribution from the Library itself’
We expect renovation work to be completed in early 2023, with the opening ceremony of the building coinciding with a new year and the 2023 year of culture.
Chair of the Leeds Library Martin Staniforth said: “The purchase of 15 Commercial Street opens a new chapter in the Library’s 250-year story and secures its future for generations to come. The additional space the new building provides will make the Library more accessible, will allow us to broaden the range of activities and events we support, and will enable us to bring our collections together in one place. By doing so it will reinforce the Library’s position as a cultural hub for the city. I am grateful to all those who have helped bring this about, and particularly the Ecology Building Society and the Architectural Heritage Fund for their commitment to the project.”
Chief Executive of the Leeds Library Carl Hutton said: “The last two years have been challenging for everyone, including the Leeds Library; but it also showed us how much Library members and the public value our books, our building, and the programme of events we run. Expansion into next door will secure the future of the Leeds Library, and reinforce its position at the heart of the city and at the heart of the city’s culture and arts.”