Huge demand leads to second public meeting on Central Library hotel plans

Sheffield Central Library.

Sheffield Central Library.

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A second public meeting on proposals to turn Sheffield Central Library into a five star hotel has been arranged after demand to attend the first one surged.

Sheffield Council has given its Chinese investment partner Sichuan Guodong Construction Group a 12-month exclusivity period to investigate the possibility of converting the Grade II listed building.

The proposals have already attracted plenty of opposition, with 8,000 people signing a petition to keep the building for public use, and Michael Palin throwing his weight behind the campaign.
The council had already arranged one public meeting, to be held at the Town Hall at 5.30pm on Tuesday. But as demand for the pre-booked places rose quickly, a second meeting has been organised, again at the Town Hall at 4.30pm on December 16.

Cabinet member for community services and libraries Jack Scott said: “It’s great that so many people want to be involved. We’re asking people to book a place at the public meetings, rather than just turning up, as we’re expecting a high turn-out.

“Because of this we’ve planned a second public meeting to update people about the proposals and to get their views about what they want from a central library service.”

The authority has promised to keep a full library service in the city centre if the deal goes ahead, and Sichuan Guodong wants to keep the Graves Gallery in the building and open to the public.

It says it would cost £30 million to bring the library up to modern standards.

Spaces are limited to 170 people at the first meeting and 190 at the second. The council will hold further events if there is a high demand for spaces.

People will have a chance to ask about the central library, Graves Art Gallery and the library theatre at the events.

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/libraries to book your place.

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