Friday, January 07, 2011

Update on Kings Heath Library temporary closure – 7th January 2011

At the moment Kings Heath Library is temporarily closed. The background to this closure can be read at

Work to install the permanent scaffolding, which will allow the library to re-open, will begin within 2 weeks of time of writing. It is calculated that the time required to install the permanent scaffolding will take 4 to 6 weeks. We therefore hope to get Kings Heath Library re-opened by the end of February.

The permanent scaffolding will be the equivalent of inserting a false ceiling, albeit with greater structural strength, which will stretch from wall to wall, with none of the current ugly vertical scaffolding that current blight the library. Artificial lighting will also be needed.

I have made enquiries about the possibility of re-opening the library for the next two weeks prior to the contractors coming on-site. Unfortunately, this is not possible, since there are concerns that if any of the skylights collapsed, then the resulting debri created would injury anyone in the library below. The permanent scaffolding structure is being designed in case any skylight collapses, with ‘wells’ to contain any debri.

Long term, our aim is to replace the skylights with exact replicas. The earliest we are likely to get the roof and skylights repaired is 2012. This is due to a massive financial pressure next year of £1.8million required to strip the Sutton Coldfield library building of asbestos by December 2011


At 8:35 AM, Blogger Marcus Belben said...

Hi Martin, thanks for update. There has been a lot of concern in Kings Heath over the library closure, particularly as national news coverage sugggest local councils see Library closures as an 'easy option to save money' - see Guardian yesterday.

Sutton Coldfield has been closed for a year now, for what appears to be far more minor alterations than what is required in Kings Heath.

Please can you confirm your committment to keeping our community library open, as well as all our much needed community libraries across Birmingham.


Marcus Belben

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Martin said...


Thanks for publishing this on the web. I'd like to echo the comment by Marcus - my family makes regular use of Kings Heath Library, and we see it as a vital community facility.

It would be good if you could respond to these comments to reassure everyone.


Martin Green


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