The Friary building which currently houses Lichfield Library. Pic: Elliott Brown

Lichfield Library could move into the city centre if new plans are approved.

The Friary building which currently houses Lichfield Library. Pic: Elliott Brown

Staffordshire County Council says switching to St Mary’s in the Market Square would allow for £1million of repairs to be carried out the current Friary site and allow it to have “a new lease of life” as residential accomodation.

The proposal being considered would see a 30-year lease signed to move the library into the centre of the city.

Cllr Ben Adams, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said: “St Mary’s is in the middle of Lichfield, has good ground floor access and has space for a good stock of books and the many other services our libraries provide.

“No decision has been taken, but talks with the Guild of St Mary’s – which operates the building – and the Diocese of Lichfield – which owns the building – are progressing well.

“If the move is approved it will allow the Friary, which needs more than £1million of repairs, to be given a new lease of life. St Mary’s will have a long-term tenant with guaranteed income, and the cost to the county council of providing a first class library to the people of Lichfield will be halved.”

Staffordshire County Council confirmed that if the move goes ahead, The Friary would be made available for residential use in future.

Cllr Helen Fisher, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet member for tourism and a mmber of the Lichfield City Centre Development Partnership, added: “It would be fantastic if this proposal to move the library into St Mary’s could become reality.

“We would welcome such a project that would inject new life into the centre and increase the vibrancy of the heritage heart of the city, which is important to local shops and businesses.”

The proposals will be discussed at a meeting of the county council’s Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee on March 4.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

2 replies on “Plans unveiled to move Lichfield Library into St Mary’s in the Market Square”

  1. So make one of Lichfield’s most historic buildings non accessible to the public by turning it in to unaffordable accommodation …typical,there must be a way to stop this

  2. A million pounds of repairs to give it a new lease of life?
    So a million pounds spent to turn it into an expensive block of flats?
    Or are the council telling us that they have let the place go, not spending any money on it until it requires developing?
    Helen Fisher Conservative councillor states that moving the library into St Mary’s church will inject “new life into the centre and increase the vibrancy of the heritage heart of the city”
    The Friary historical site and the library building is the heritage of our city, once sold for very short term gain and developed, it will gone for good to the people of Lichfield, a large public owned space that could be put to such fantastic future use, disappeared.
    If Staffordshire CC and Lichfield District and City Council opened up the debate as to how we the people of Lichfield could creatively use such a fanstastically positioned public space the response would be very different from the small and narrow minded review on how the library is currently used.
    Is this really the best that our “leaders” can do for us?

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