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British Library plans expansion into northern England

The British Library is planning to open a branch in the city of Leeds as part of an expansion of its activities in northern England, reports the Guardian.

According to board meeting minutes obtained by the Guardian, the library has been in discussion with Leeds city council over a potential location for its ‘British Library North’. The new branch is being considered alongside a planned upgrade of the British Library’s reading rooms in Leeds.

‘The board would have to balance the risks of the library overstretching itself and failing to achieve such huge and ambitious transformation, against the risks of slow decline and a failure to remain relevant and valued by researchers and other audiences if it did not grasp these challenges,’ the minutes report.

A spokesperson for the British Library said the British Library North program was primarily focused on upgrading the existing site in Leeds. ‘Alongside this, we will work with local partners, including Leeds city council, to deliver expanded culture and learning programming in the run up to the Leeds 2023 cultural festival,’ said the spokesperson. ‘We will also be exploring subsequent opportunities to embed our presence in the city after 2023, and we look forward to further discussions with partners in the coming months.’

Leeds 2023 is a five-year cultural investment program culminating in a year of celebration in 2023. The program was proposed after Leeds was forced to pull out of its bid to become the European Capital of Culture 2023 following Brexit.


Category: Library news International