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Birmingham Library Business Case announced

16 October 2007

Capita Symonds and Birmingham City Council have announced the business case for the proposed £193m Library of Birmingham.

Detailing the groundbreaking project’s proposed timeline, costings and exact location, the plan will now be officially presented to the City Council's Cabinet for final approval on Monday 22 October. Once approved, the City Council will appoint a project manager and design team to take the project forward - including the launch of an international competition to appoint an architect – with work due to get underway by summer 2008.

Paul Terry, Director, Capita Symonds who worked closely with Project Manager Pat Miles on the business case said:

"We’ve put together a detailed plan for a new library that will provide England's second city with a world class centre for knowledge, leisure, learning and innovation - serving the whole community for decades to come. We are extremely confident that this ambitious project can be delivered both on time and on budget, resulting in an iconic building that will be recognised across the world."

The need to develop a new library was identified when it became clear that the existing Central Library was no longer fit-for-purpose and in desperate need of modernisation. The busiest public library in Britain - attracting more than 1.5m visitors per year – it was opened in 1973 and over recent years has become increasingly costly to maintain. The design of the building is also unsuited to modern day needs, being difficult to adapt to new technology and developments in learning, information and culture.

Due to be developed on land adjoining the world famous Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Centenary Square, the new development will see the library and theatre joining together to create a unique centre for knowledge, learning and culture.

Cllr Mike Whitby, Leader of Birmingham City Council said:

“This is an important day for Birmingham. The exciting proposals we have unveiled will create the world-class centre for knowledge and culture that our city deserves. The library will provide a fantastic social, creative and cultural destination, which will be accessible, welcoming and flexible to modern demands.”