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Birmingham Central Library to be demolished

Birmingham | News | Published:

Birmingham's landmark Central Library will be demolished after it was officially granted immunity from listing, it has been confirmed today.

Birmingham's landmark Central Library will be demolished after it was officially granted immunity from listing, it has been confirmed today.

The building, which opened in 1974, was effectively handed a death sentence in 2009 when English Heritage failed in a bid to get it listed.

But following an appeal by campaigners, which was thrown out last November, city council bosses now have the official documentation confirming that they can knock it down.

A new £187 million library is being built in Centenary Square next to the Rep theatre.

Council leader Mike Whitby said: "We have the certificate of immunity on the old Central Library.

"So we've now got to make sure the development continues, and we have to do it within the lifetime of the immunity from listing which is five years."

The new 31,000 sq ft library is being built by Wolverhampton-based Carillion and is set to create 250 jobs. Three million people a year are expected through the doors.

Work started on the building last January and it is likely to open in 2013.

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It is understood that once the transfer of all the books and records from the old Central Library is complete that demolition can begin.

The demolition of the library will allow for a £600m redevelopment of Paradise Circus — including the flattening of Paradise Forum.

Opening up the area will create new streets and squares, as well as direct access and dramatic lines of site between the historic civic heart of the city and Westside.

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