Over 4000 people have signed a petition to keep Sheffield Central Library open only 24 hours after Sheffield City Council announced its Chinese investment partner had plans to turn the building into a hotel.
The petition, which opposes plans to turn the city’s library into a hotel, was launched yesterday by Rebecca Gransbury, a 38-year-old bookseller from Wybourn. It has 4,013 of its goal of 5,000 signatures.
She says: “I’d like to see the library stay in this building because I think it’s a beautiful public space.”
“I’d like to see it kept up and modernised to suit people but I think it should stay here because it’s a building for the people.”
This action came after Sheffield City Council revealed it had given its trading investment partner the Sichuan Guodong Group 12 months to look into transforming the 80-year-old building.
If the plan goes ahead, the site will become Sheffield’s first five-star hotel.
Graves Art Gallery, which is currently housed above the library, would likely be moved to the ground floor of the building. The library would be relocated to a new site in the city.
Margaret Smith from Doncaster is a regular visitor to the library and gallery. She said: “We believe in libraries. Keep it as it is – tell them to build another one.”
Steve Baxby, aged 53 and from Hillsborough said: “It’s not going to happen in five minutes. It probably could use a make-over – apparently it’s falling apart.”
The council says that without this Chinese investment they would need to spend £30 million of taxpayers’ money to bring the library up to an acceptable standard.
Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for community services and libraries, said: “I understand that people want security and information about what will happen to the service.”
“I can give absolute assurances that no matter what the outcome here, there will always be a city centre library in Sheffield.”
@atChrisMc Sheffield. Is having another one of it’s self indulgent whinges. The council are selling the library building to investors
— Van Rockingham (@vanrockingham) 24 November 2016
— Nick Holland (@Nick_Holland_) 24 November 2016
— James Pearson (@JamesPearson_) 24 November 2016