An iconic new home is planned for Doncaster’s library and heritage services.
Major plans for an iconic 21st century building, which will transform how library and heritage resources are provided in the borough, have been revealed by Doncaster Council.
These plans will be considered by Cabinet on 4 July 2017 and, if agreed, this new development could become one of the borough’s most eye-catching buildings delivering the very latest cultural facilities and services for the benefit of Doncaster.
The plan could see four existing buildings (Doncaster Central Library, Doncaster Archives in Balby, Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery and the Library Services for Schools at Top Road, Barnby Dun) consolidated into one dynamic central hub that will inspire creativity, informal learning and innovation.
The four existing buildings in question are older buildings and some of them are in need of significant repair. Money would need to be spent on making these improvements and even then, they could not offer the types of modern services we want to provide for residents.
The new building will be designed to sympathetically incorporate the frontage of the old Girls School which is expected to be restored to its former glory after being dormant for many years.
There will be 4,580m2 of modern and flexible space set over three to four floors.
The new space will help support the local and creative economy, by providing opportunities for young people, entrepreneurs, businesses and residents to develop skills that help build a successful career. The striking building will also have the space and facilities to display exhibits which have been locked away from public view for years, including:
- The famous Danum Shield
- Royal Borough Charters
- Heritage collections celebrating Doncaster’s proud history in railways, horseracing, mining and as a historic Roman town.
A raft of cutting edge facilities, technology, services and resources will be available too. Residents will be able to learn creative digital skills like computer programming, app design and coding, digital engineering skills, 3D printing or tap into innovation areas and virtual reality learning.
The new building will enhance library services by offering a first class environment to access traditional and modern reading materials for learning and pleasure.
The project is projected to cost between £14 and £15 million to build. £10 million will be added to the council’s capital programme. The balance will be funded from borrowing which will be repaid by the savings made through running modern services from one highly efficient and fit-for-purpose building. Applications will also be submitted to national funding agencies, such as the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council.
If the project is approved, the construction work is planned to start late summer 2018, with construction completing by early 2020 and the building opening by the Spring of that year.