The British Library is considering opening a second facility in Leeds, alongside existing plans to expand its reading rooms in the area. The library has discussed potential locations for a new building with the local authority according to information obtained by the Guardian in a freedom of information request.
With Leeds working towards its £35 million celebration of Leeds in 2023 in the wake of the city’s collapsed bid to be 2023 European Capital of Culture, the plans could not have come at a better time. The proposal includes a six year programme, currently underway, that will culminate in a year long celebration of culture in 2023.
The plans are part of the British Library North programme with plans to expand its archival storage facilities and upgrade staff spaces as part of the Leeds “2023” programme to boost the city’s cultural investment.
A spokesman for the British Library said that right now any proposals for a new facility in the city were only in an ‘exploratory’ stage and added that the primary focus of the British Library North programme was to invest in the estate of the existing site at Boston Spa, near Wetherby.
Leeds council said that it hoped the move could set the city as a cultural base for the north. The city has ambitious plans for making the most of its cultural strengths as it works towards 2023 and are delighted to have such a strong relationship with the British Library.