Library of Birmingham gets Wolfson Foundation donation

Image caption,
The library, which includes an outdoor amphitheatre, is to open in September

A charitable foundation has donated £500,000 to the new Library of Birmingham.

The Wolfson Foundation said the money would "help to provide world-class library facilities in the heart of one of the UK's major cities".

The 10-storey building, which it is estimated will cost nearly £190m, will replace the city's Central Library which was built in the 1970s.

The new library is set to open on 3 September.

'Funding pressures'

The 10-storey building will boast an outdoor amphitheatre, a theatre, recording studio and free access to the National Film Archive.

The Wolfson Foundation said awarding the grant was a "strong statement" about the value of public libraries at a time they faced financial pressures.

Paul Ramsbottom, the foundation's chief executive, said: "Public libraries continue to play a crucial role in British society.

"In backing this excellent project, we hope that other funders might join us in supporting high quality initiatives at public libraries at a time of acute funding pressure for these great institutions.

"The Library of Birmingham will help to show the future shape of public libraries at a time of debate about their future role."

The Library of Birmingham Trust said it was "enormously grateful" for the generous support from the foundation.

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