A new Central Library for Edinburgh

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You may have seen the newspaper reports about the redevelopment of Central Library, which we are naturally very excited about.

A new Central Library for Edinburgh would be an iconic landmark, and a testament to the role Edinburgh will play in the 21st century as a truly “intelligent” and global capital city.

New thinking, new services, new designs and new partnerships will support the creation of a unique service which will bring people together, nurture creativity, allow far greater access to Edinburgh’s cultural and literary heritage, and act as a focal hub within the city.

This project will deliver completely refurbished library facilities within the existing George Washington Browne building as well as a new quality hotel development with restaurant and retail facilities.

If you’d like to know more visit  Council Papers Online to read the official report and be sure to let us know what you think of the proposals.


5 thoughts on “A new Central Library for Edinburgh

  1. It’s a brilliant concept… Edinburgh would benefit enormously from such a physical expression of its literary history, and it would give the George IV Bridge area a wonderful and enduring identity. There are examples of good practice in Glasgow… the Mitchell Library is a wonderful resource (although distant from the city centre) plus the recently-developed CCA on Sauchiehall Street. There may be opportunities to build a critical mass, with the Scottish Book Trust and Scottish Poetry Library elsewhere in the Old Town, although they have their own identities and niches. There are two suggestions I would make: firstly, it needs a creative vision from the outset and this should draw on literary expertise and patronage across the spectrum, not just what may be in vogue or most populist. (Everywhere in Edinburgh seems to have been touched by the Harry Potter wand at some point). Secondly, this needs to fit in with the wider public realm, and there are attractive proposals for Chambers Street. The area could be a bridge between the historic Royal Mile, the Festival Theatre and Fringe world, the refurbished museum and the University area, and also down to the pubs of the Grassmarket. The main challenge is the busy street outside on George IV Bridge. This could be narrowed to two lanes and pavements widened, as for the Royal Mile, or turned into a “shared space” for pedestrians and vehicles as is common in European cities.


    • I agree with all you say and we will be looking to have input such as yours as we get going. I think it will be a destination to rival Milan or Paris !


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