New vision to ‘secure the future’ of Hove Library

Hove Library
Hove Library

A cafe, offices, a nursery, or space for a music college are all ideas being considered to cover the costs of the ‘expensive’ Hove Library building.

Brighton and Hove City Council is to look at different ways it can make money from the Carnegie building in Hove, alongside its use as a library.

The Save Hove Library campaigners

The Save Hove Library campaigners

The council said it needs to reduce its costs by £51m over the next three years, and the library services will make up around £500,000 of those savings.

Hove Library was at risk of being merged with Hove Museum last year - with the Carnegie building set to be sold off - but a hard-fought campaign by the Save Hove Library group halted the plan.

Now the council is trying to find a way to make revenue out of the building, while retaining the library.

A statement from the council said: “Hove Library is a much-loved historic building, but is expensive to run. The age and design of the building means it will need more investment to maintain it in future. In order to keep providing modern library services to communities, the council is exploring how to generate more income to help cover the costs of Hove Library.

Hove Library SUS-161101-152317001

Hove Library SUS-161101-152317001

“So far, ideas include leasing a small part of the building to the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM), on the first floor, as a new base for library provision for their students. The library could also host a café with a community focus in the ground floor open space area, while they are also looking at the possibility of hiring out the basement as new office space or a nursery.

“All of the ideas proposed have been developed to make sure that existing Hove library users can still enjoy the same access and services they want, while widening the use of the building to the local community, and pulling in the extra income needed help meet the rising costs.

“The council is now looking at what demand in the market there is for using Hove Library, what works are needed to the building to accommodate any commercial use, as well as what the Hove library users think of the ideas.”

To find out more, and to have your say, click here.