TK Maxx in Peterborough to become new library and culture hub with store relocating to Queensgate

The TK Maxx store in Peterborough city centre is to be converted into a new library and culture hub, with the outlet relocating to Queensgate.

Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 4:22 pm

The city council is on the verge of buying the building in Bridge Street for just under £4 million, with £5 million set aside to completely transform it.

The council would then sell Central Library in Broadway and Chauffeurs Cottage at the back of the Town Hall, which is currently leased to arts group Metal.

The new hub - which is currently being named as The Vine - would accommodate a library, as well as: a community café, a study area for children, meeting rooms for council and community use, a cultural hub with rehearsal and gallery space for local arts and cultural organisations, space for new businesses and public sector organisations, and offices.

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An artist's impression of the new leisure and culture hub in Bridge Street

There is even scope to let out some of the ground floor space to independent operators.

The three-storey building also used to accommodate a New Look store which could become a food hall, under plans released by the council.

It is expected that Central Library will be sold to become properties. The council said that the library and Chauffeurs Cottage “require fresh investment to bring them up to modern standards and their renovation and refurbishment would likely require a period of temporary closure or reduced service operation”.

Photos of how the new hub could look have been released alongside the report.

How the new hub could look

It is anticipated that money for the project will be received through Peterborough’s bid of up to £25 million from the Government’s Towns Fund which aims to boost growth in the city.

Money will also come from selling Central Library and Chauffeurs Cottage.

The council said: “There has been initial consultation with groups such as Metal Culture about their need for accommodation to enable their activities to grow and there will be widespread engagement with existing and future library users as plans for the renovation of the building are taken forward.”

Cllr Peter Hiller, cabinet member for strategic planning and commercial investments at Peterborough City Council, said: “The TK Maxx building is a significant and prominent one in our city centre. Its lease is due to expire in March 2021 and the company is preparing to move its store into Queensgate.

How the new hub could look

“Situated directly in the middle of our city’s new city centre which will extend to Fletton Quays and the new university, it is important that we ensure it is not left vacant.

“In addition, the improvement of the city’s cultural infrastructure is a key part of the city’s bid for up to £25 million from the Government’s Towns Fund scheme, the application for which was submitted recently.

“Work is also underway, with support from the Arts Council,to consult upon and develop a cultural strategy for Peterborough that will look at how the city can improve its cultural infrastructure and boost cultural activities in order to build back better post Covid-19.”

The valuation of the building is said to less than 50 per cent of the price paid for it by its current owners in 2011.

How the new hub could look