Regular updates on the building work at Hereford Library and museum, Broad Street, Hereford

Hereford Library will reopen on Tuesday 31 January 2017 following completion of phase one of the building work at Broad Street.

As part of the redevelopment work at the site, the WISH (Wellbeing Information and Signposting for Herefordshire) service will also be operating from the library when it reopens.

The temporary library at Hereford Town Hall will close on Saturday 21 January. There will be a box to return library items at the Town Hall until the main library reopens on 31 January.

Please see our Facebook and Twitter accounts for further updates.


13 December 2016

Herefordlibrarydec 16

Work on creating an opening that will lead from the main library into what used to be the computer corridor has now been completed. As you can see from the thickness of the walls, the Victorians constructed buildings to last.

Work on the library is progressing well and should be completed ready for the planned opening on the 31 January 2017.


3 October 2016

Herefordlibraryoct 16

Work has begun this week on reinstating the library and museum on Broad Street now all the asbestos has been cleared.

It is anticipated that the Library and Museum will reopen in January 2017.

Work is being carried out to also incorporate an new lighting system and the WISH information service provided by Services for Independent Living (SIL).

Regular updates will be on the Herefordshire libraries Facebook page.


9 May 2016

Herefordshire Council Cabinet approved the proposals put forward by the Herefordshire Library users group (HLUG), at the cabinet meeting held on May 9, for the future of Hereford library and museum.

The decision was approved in three parts

  • For works to enable reinstatement of Hereford library and museum building, and relocation of the Wellbeing Information and Signposting Service (WISH) to the Broad Street site, Hereford be undertaken to a maximum cost of £500k;
  • Following completion of the works at recommendation a) above the balance of the capital allocation be used as match funding for a development scheme, led by HLUG or other partner, subject to the development scheme being approved by the relevant cabinet member within a two year period; and
  • A further report be prepared on the options for shorter term re-opening of the museum and art gallery at the Broad Street site, pending a decision on longer term options for sustainable delivery of the museum and archive service.

The recommendations enable services to be resumed at the earliest opportunity, mitigating the effect on users if the building was closed for a long period.  This is balanced with giving the HLUG or another party time to secure funding for a development scheme.  If funds are not forthcoming for any development scheme within 2 years then the opportunities for the site and the services are reviewed to consider options in light of value for money.

Further information on the decision

View the agenda for the Cabinet meeting including the HLUG proposal


7 March 2016

Herefordshire Council has agreed to extend the time frame for the Hereford Library Users Group to formulate their proposals for the refurbishment of the library and museum building.

The group has been campaigning for many years for a better library facility for Hereford and proposals include transforming the building into a centre for recreational, public and cultural services.

In December, the council's Cabinet committed to work with the users group as they come up with future options for the library building, which also houses the Museum and Art Gallery and the Woolhope Club.

Since then the users group has been engaged in extensive consultation to find out if a major redevelopment is possible and feasible.  This included a public meeting where overwhelming support was expressed for exploring a major improvement scheme to turn the building into a cultural centre for Hereford.

John Faulkner of the Hereford Library Users Group, said:

"We have received considerable support for pursuing a significant development of the site and the council has agreed for us to have an extension of time until the end of March, to formulate the proposals in more detail."

A report on the initial options for the future operation of the museum service, based on a recent independent service review, will be discussed by Cabinet this month. The report is available on the Cabinet agenda page.

Work to remove the asbestos is under way by Hereford Asbestos Services and it's anticipated to be completed later this month.

Asbestos Montage

 Pictures of the asbestos removal at Broad Street


7 January 2016

Herefordshire Council have now had confirmation that the asbestos removal work at the Hereford Library and Museum building will commence on 1 February and is expected to last 5 to 6 weeks.


21 December 2015

Herefordshire Council are hoping to commence the asbestos removal works in the second half of January. It is expected that the work to remove the asbestos will take 5 to 6 weeks.

Currently library staff are packing books and resources that they are able to get access to in advance of the work taking place.

At the Cabinet meeting on December 3 Herefordshire Council approved the plans to spend £86,000 on the asbestos removal and committed to further funding of £900,000 on the Town Library. The Council are working closely with Hereford Library users group to look at ways of providing an enhanced library facility and service for the people of Herefordshire. The User Group are currently discussing options with other stakeholders and will be responding to the Council with their thoughts by the end of February 2016

View the minutes from the 3 December Cabinet meeting


23 November 2015

The temporary Library at the Town Hall on St Owen Street is due to open Tuesday 24 November at 9.30am

The Town Hall Library will offer a selection of titles and provide access to the whole of the county's library stock. Titles on the Herefordshire Library catalogue may be reserved free of charge online.

The opening hours are Tuesday to Thursday 9.30am to 5pm; Friday 9.30am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 4pm. On a Saturday, customers can ring a bell to be given access to the library.

The main entrance to the Town Hall is at the front of the building on St Owen Street, with an accessible entrance to the rear of the building.

There are additional public computers available for use at the Courtyard on Edgar Street and Herefordshire Housing, The Learning Box at Brierley Court, off Turner Lane in Hereford.

The book drop off box at Shirehall will still remain available until Friday December 4.

A timetable of works, costing in the region of £86k, for the safe removal of asbestos from the building, can now be put in place.

For more information on library services please go to


13 November 2015

The options for Hereford Library will be debated by Herefordshire Council's Cabinet on 3 December, as the costs to sustain and improve the building for the future are taken into consideration.

To address the removal of asbestos and the backlog of maintenance of the historic building, £1m needs to be spent. This investment is outlined in the capital programme for the council, however Cabinet will consider if there is an opportunity to use that funding to work with the community on an improved library. It is proposed to hold discussions with representatives of the Hereford Library Users Group to see if their ambitions for a modern library with a range of other facilities could be realised if there was a wider fundraising campaign.

Councillor Harry Bramer, Cabinet member for contracts and assets, said: "We recognise that libraries are important to people and we aim to work with the library user group and other interested parties to explore what is possible and make the most of any money available."

In the meantime, work is close to completion to adapt a room at Hereford Town Hall to create a temporary library by 24 November 2015.


16 October 2015

Herefordshire Council would like to thank the public for their patience whilst it reviews the position relating to the unexpected discovery of asbestos at Hereford Library.

The safety of users and staff of the services is our most important consideration, and the implications of managing asbestos at the building needs to be carefully considered.

As traces of asbestos have been found at the venue, it is in the best safety interest to remove it completely, which will be started as soon as possible. As yet we have not been given a date as to when this work will be completed.

We have seen considerable increase in the use of Belmont Library to compensate for the closure of Hereford Library, and a drop-off point is available at The Shirehall. In addition, we plan to open a temporary provision at Hereford Town Hall as soon as we can.

Options for temporarily relocating the Museum and Arts Gallery are also being explored.

In addition to the public use PCs at Belmont Library there are also public access PCs available at the new HARC building at Rotherwas and at the Courtyard, which are free to use.

We will provide further updates on the library as soon as we have them.

Though the risk from asbestos is minimal, if you have health concerns please contact your GP in the first instance.


16 September 2015

We have received a number of queries relating to the closure of Hereford Library and Museum and have developed some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to help answer as many of these as possible.


14 September 2015

Please be advised that alternative library facilities, including computer access, are located at Belmont Library and during the temporary closure of Hereford Library will operate extended hours. Thank you to South Wye Community Association for its support. Belmont library has free parking for community centre visitors and is located on bus routes 39, 39A, 74, 74A, 75, 75A, 79A, 440, 447, 449 and X4.

You can also renew your library books online or call 01432 383295.

Alternative public computer access is available at The Courtyard in Hereford, please contact them directly for more information.

Green bags for garden waste can be purchased from Hereford Customer Service Centre.

We will endeavour to find an alternative venue for the Spun Gold exhibition, but regret that the exhibition is currently closed. The Old House museum will extend its hours, as an alternative attraction.

Herefordshire Council appreciate your patience during this time and will seek to provide other services as they become available.


11 September 2015

In the interest of public and staff safety, Herefordshire Council has made the decision to temporarily close Hereford Library and Museum with effect from today, due to the discovery of trace levels of asbestos found in the building as a result of planned building work due to take place at the site.

The building will be closed for an initial 12 week period, while the remedial works and improvements to the site are conducted. Air samples had showed there were no airborne particles of asbestos, however trace amounts were found on surfaces near the oldest parts of the building's structure.

Herefordshire Council would like to stress that the risk of contamination is minimal, however it is important we take risk seriously and take the appropriate action to safeguard our staff and customers.

The Health and Safety Executive has been informed and the library service is assessing the impact on the wider library service and what actions can be taken to address and mitigate the impact of the closure in the best interest of customers.

There is more information on asbestos on the Health and Safety Executive website.

Published: 4th October 2016