21 March 2017

Exciting ideas could give a new lease of life to Hove Library

New ideas could generate more income for the ageing building through extra library facilities, and better use of available space.

A marketing exercise by Brighton & Hove City Council is due to begin this spring to advertise potential new public and commercial spaces in Hove Library. The extra cash this could create would be used to help safeguard the future of the building as a public library.

Councillor Alan Robins, Chair of the Economic Development & Culture Committee said: “Hove Library is a much loved historic building, but expensive to run. We need to explore how to generate more income to help cover the rising costs of Hove Library, so we can keep providing modern library services to communities across the city. The ideas put forward so far not only generate income, but also give a new lease of life for Hove Library, and extra facilities for the community.”

A public exhibition of income generating ideas was held at Hove Library earlier in the year. 72% of comments at the exhibition were in support of the pilot project to host a new study space for British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) students. Suggested by the students, this collaboration between the council and BIMM will encourage traditional library use by local students. Existing study spaces for non BIMM students will continue in new areas of the building. Study support will be provided, but no music practice will take place in Hove Library itself.

The idea of a new café integrated into the main library area, where library users would be able to browse, read, and relax in comfort, was supported by 67% of people who gave comments. 77% also supported the idea of developing the basement area, currently not in public use, into a new commercial space such as an office, nursery or café. The council has said that they are open to any ideas if they are appropriate and suitable for the building, and do not disrupt from its primary use as a public library.

All the proposed ideas have received cross party support through the joint working group for Hove Library.

Find out more about Hove Library and continue to offer your views and ideas.