Late in 2016, plans were announced for a Chinese investor to convert Sheffield Central Library into a five star hotel. Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, a private company essentially run by one man, pledged in in July 2016 to invest 1 Billion pounds in Sheffield. We would have been forgiven for expecting that this meant the creation of new developments, but Sheffield Council, desperate to relieve the burden of debts, is clearly not ruling out handing over important public assets too. We are told that the company has been given 12 months to conduct a feasibility assessment.
Hallamshire Historic Buildings has long taken an interest in Sheffield Central Library. HHB Chairman Howard Greaves’ letter on this subject, published in the Sheffield Star and reproduced on his blog, covers some of the back story and mentions an article in HHB’s 2004 edition of The Cruck. The 2004 Cruck article, which describes how we were instrumental in gaining Grade II listed status for the building, can be found below.
The council’s position, with claims that the views of members of the public will be considered, can be found here.
You can sign the petition to keep Sheffield Central Library where it is, in public ownership, here:
There is an interview with the petitioner, Rebecca Gransbury, here: http://www.jusnews.net/2016/11/24/petition-to-save-sheffield-library-gains-over-4000-signatures/