THE main library and archive service in Calderdale may soon move.
Calderdale Council is proposing a new library at Square Spire with shops at its current Northgate site.
The council says keeping Calderdale Central Library and Archive where it is will hinder the creation of new jobs in Halifax town centre and damage the borough’s economy.
Its current site would cost £14.5m to refurbish, with the library and archive service needing £6m to bring it to modern day standards.
Councillors say that a new Central Library and Archive, adjacent to the Piece Hall, is the only viable option if new shops are to be attracted to the borough.
They’ve launched a 12-week public consultation to get people’s views on the proposal.
Clr Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for economy and environment, said: “We are committed to moving out of Northgate House because it would be hugely expensive to refurbish and we no longer need office accommodation of that size.
“The whole of the Northgate site is a key attraction for town centre shopping and we know that a number of developers are interested.
“But keeping the Central Library and Archive there could make the site much less attractive.
“At best, it could delay any new development. At worst, we could be left with an empty and boarded up Northgate House.”
If approved the council will sell the Northgate House and Halifax Central Library and Archive site to make way for a new non-food retail development.
The archive service has seen visitors decrease over the last few years – in 2004/05 there were 4,274 visitors, but to date in 2010/11 there has been 2,480.