top of page
Shirehall Redevelopment
Library and Learning Centre

This full business case supports the proposed relocation of the Hereford library from Broad Street to within Shirehall, and the development of a Learning Centre.
The purpose of the project is to establish a modern and innovative Library and Learning Centre (LLC) in Hereford, creating a mixed-use development to support the regeneration of the city centre, and to improve the opportunities and wellbeing outcomes of the population through enhanced cultural facilities, whilst fulfilling the Council’s statutory obligation to provide library facilities.

As reflected in the Hereford Town Investment Plan, town and city centres are evolving. High streets are transforming and the historic civic buildings of yesteryear are becoming redundant as public needs change. This project looks sustainably at the Council’s older building stock, opting to reuse a former heritage building and reinvent it for the 21st century. It looks to create a new community hub at the heart of the city focused on culture, learning and wellbeing, giving it a new lease of life for local people.
Hereford Library has shared a site with the Museum and Art Gallery on Broad Street since 1874, but the building is no longer fit-for-purpose with significant structural issues and outmoded spaces. £18m grant funding will now see it completely renovated into the new Hereford Museum and Art Gallery and the library will move out of the building to a new location.

Library services are also changing nationally and the current set-up no longer meets guidance in terms of provision and the contemporary needs of users. The Universal Library Offer, the national guidance from Libraries Connected, promotes a combination of reading, information and digital, culture and creativity, health and wellbeing aimed at improving cultural enrichment, economic prosperity, digital access and literacy, written literacy, healthier and happier lives, and stronger and more resilient communities. Delivering the universal offer necessitates new approaches that go way beyond the current provision. Libraries need to respond to the specific needs of its communities, work with local partners and provide flexible spaces for different types of learning and wellbeing activities. The new premises within Shirehall provide an opportunity to design this new kind of service.
Our ambition is to reinvent the Shirehall building as a vibrant community hub, a place that is talked about and creates a buzz around the city. It will be for, and used by, everyone – a place of civic pride once more. In addition to the library services, the Shirehall building will be refurbished and opened up to provide hireable courtroom spaces, meeting room spaces, film and TV hire potential, heritage interpretation and tours, community skills facilities, and spaces for the Coroner’s office and Registrars to operate from. It will break down the barriers, be inclusive and welcoming to all, and be able to flex to the changing needs of its residents.
To Access the full Report please click HERE
bottom of page