A petition has been launched to save Selly Oak library, which has been in disrepair since the 1980s

Written by Amy Lakin
Second year English Literature student.
Images by Tony Hisgett

Community Partnership for Selly Oak has launched a petition to save Selly Oak library. The 1905 library is a grade two listed building, designed by John Osborne.

The library, situated on Bristol Road, closed in 2018, however it has not been sufficiently maintained since its closure. 

The petition hopes to raise funds in order to restore the old building. The Community partnership believes that the building has great potential, as a study space and a shared workspace.

The campaign has managed to secure a tenant to take over the building but to start the renovation process, Community Partnership needs Birmingham city council to purchase the old library.

A UoB second-year student who had signed the petition said, ‘I think it’s important that we preserve the few beautiful buildings we have left in Selly Oak as they are an integral part to local culture.’

Angad Grewal, who also signed the petition, stated, ‘I live in Selly Oak and it’s sad to see such a building go to waste.’

The petition is part of the wider, ‘famous five’ initiative by Community Partnership to save a series of old buildings across the Selly Oak area. Some of the buildings involved in the campaign are the Selly Oak Institute and the Water pumping station.

Richard Batley, a member of the group said in correspondence with Birmingham Mail, ‘We want to propose, not only oppose, to give new heart to the community.’

The building was listed as grade II by Historic England in 2011.