Sheffield library and cafe bar moves closer to reality

The transformation of Walkley Library into a shared venue featuring a café bar is close to becoming a reality.

Thursday, 25th February 2016, 07:00 am
Walkley Library hub of the community

It is understood a deal with the True North Brew Co - formerly the Forum group - to buy the building has been signed off and the terms agreed, and a planning application has been lodged.

The library has been led by volunteers since 2014, when Sheffield Council handed over control following budget cuts. Book loans and other services will continue, alongside the café.

Kane Yeardley, True North’s managing director, said: “It’s signed off now and the terms have been agreed. We’ve put in for planning permission so it’s all moving forward.”

The designs feature a mezzanine floor on each side of the library, to create more space.

Timescales for when the work would be completed, or the closure of the library while the changes are made, will not be known until a decision is reached by councillors. Last year campaigners set up a petition calling for the sale of the building to be postponed.

True North’s other venues include The York, in Broomhill, and The Broadfield.

The company has also bought the closed Blue Stoops pub on High Street, Dronfield and plans have been submitted to extend the building, which dates back to the 1590s.

n Temporary facilities are being set up in Tinsley, where the council’s lease on the library building on Bawtry Road is coming to an end. Arrangements include a book drop-off and collection point at Tinsley Forum, where the Little Library service for children will also visit. Volunteers have come forward to run the library, but a new base needs to be found.