What do you think The Library should be next?

The Library Norwich

The front of The Library - Credit: Brown & Co

The Library in the city centre is attracting some unusual attention from potential new tenants.

One business owner is thinking about making it a leisure facility offering experiences, another is thinking of making it an experience venue.

Anna Smith of agents Brown and Co added another use will be potentially see it used for a business featuring craft beer, and another is considering making it a themed bar. 

The iconic Grade II Norwich building is currently available to rent and will cost £60,000 a year.

The Library Norwich

Some of the original 1800s bookcases in The Library - Credit: Brown & Co

There has been lots of interest in The Library, the agents added, though leasing is being carefully considered due to the historic nature of the building. 


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The Library, on Guildhall Hill, dates back to 1784 and was once, as can be guessed by the name, a library.

When it opened in 1837, it was one of the oldest subscription libraries in the country.

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There was a fire in 1898 that damaged the interior, forcing reconstruction of the inside of the library. It was reopened in 1914.

The Library Restaurant

The Library Restaurant when it was open - Credit: Archant

The library was finally closed in 1976, then becoming an advice centre.

From 2006 to when it closed in 2019, it was The Library Restaurant, run by Jayne and Nigel Raffles, as a part of their trio of Raffles restaurants in Norwich.

The Grade II heritage icon in the heart of the city is owned by Norwich City Council and the letting is being handled by Brown and Co.

The Library Norwich

The galleried first floor in The Library - Credit: Brown & Co

The building has a large open-plan ground floor, with double-height ceilings.

There are two reception rooms on the galleried first floor and two basements for storage.

The Library also still has its original library bookcases from 1837 and many other original period features.

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