Vision for future of Sheffield library takes shape

Artist's impression of an expanded Broomhill Library
Artist's impression of an expanded Broomhill Library
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Community volunteers at Broomhill Library have revealed further details of their ambition to expand the facility into a ‘community hub’.

The intention is to transform the library into Oriel House, a self-sustaining venture for Broomhill and its neighbouring wards.

This is combined with the hope of restoring the 1930s garden, which lies behind the building and was designed by prominent British landscape architect Percy Cane.

The existing property would be extended into the unused basement and attic, while an integrated cafe, rentable space and play area for children are also envisaged.

In recent weeks members of the Broomhill Community Library group - which took over the running of the facility from the council last year following cuts to the libraries budget - have been working with 12 postgraduate architecture students as part of a Sheffield University initiative called Live Projects.

The university programme handles genuine schemes and clients, and aims to encourage greater public participation in architectural developments.

Neighbourhood forum BBEST - Broomhill, Broomfield, Endcliffe, Summerfield and Tapton - is also involved, as part of efforts to put in place a blueprint setting out the type of development local people want to see.

The plans - unveiled at a BBEST meeting in Broomhill this week - are still at an early stage. Currently the focus is on securing a longer lease extension and attracting funding opportunities to support the redevelopment.

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