Help us with the design of the new community hub in King's Lynn

Closed 24 Nov 2023

Opened 3 Nov 2023

Feedback updated 12 Feb 2024

We asked

We asked for your feedback on our initial design ideas for the new library and community hub in King's Lynn. We also asked you about the ways you wanted to use the building to help us develop our room layout plans. We took this opportunity to also find out what principles you think we should apply when finding a new use for the Carnegie building.

You said

  • We need to reach a balance between modernity and heritage, with a design that respects the area's historical significance while incorporating contemporary elements.
  • You want us to integrate the building into the surrounding architecture and make sure it has a warm, welcoming appearance that ties in with the area's character.
  • There was no overall agreement about materials as people’s views varied widely with personal taste. However, there were common concerns and preferences centred around warmth, durability, and how the material fitted in with the local context.
  • There was strong support for our commitment to sustainable practices and materials, highlighting the necessity of reducing environmental impact and setting an example for future developments.
  • You asked for spaces that would meet a variety of needs including study areas, multi-functional spaces for group activities, and quiet areas for relaxation and reading.
  • Most of those commenting agreed with our principles for deciding the future use of the Carnegie building. People were concerned about the maintenance of the building and finding a sustainable community use that was in the same spirit as the original gift to the town.  

We did

  • Given that there was no clear consensus in building materials we are exploring the tile option further. There was a clear message that people wanted the building to be warm and welcoming and we think that using tiles will help us achieve this. We will work closely with planners and conservation officers to make sure that the design and material fits in with the local architecture.
  • We have changed our draft room layouts to provide a bit more separation between the different zones within the building. This means that there will be clear quiet areas for study and research and busy areas for activities and meeting up. Your feedback has inspired us to move the Local History and Rare reference / special collections in the internal layouts to keep them together and create a study/discover ‘zone’.
  • We have strengthened and added to our principles for future use of the Carnegie. We will be asking interested organisations to recognise the generous spirit of the building’s original donor as a gift to the town and to ensure free access to the building.

Answering your questions

  • Several people said that they would like a café in the building. However, we are very keen to make sure that our activities support local businesses, and we don’t want to take trade away from local coffee shops. So instead of a café we will be encouraging people to buy local and bring their takeaway coffees in with them.
  • Some people are worried that the space for community activities happening in the new building will mean that there will be less room for books. We can reassure you that’s not the case. Currently at the Carnegie we have to rotate the books on display as we haven’t got space for them all. The good news is that in the new building we will be able to have all our books out available for loan and still have space for more.
  • Good, accessible toilets was just one of the many things that you said should be a key feature of the new space. The new hub will have King’s Lynn’s first town centre Changing Places toilet. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities or with physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. The new Changing Places toilet will enable anyone, regardless of the disability to make the most of both the new library and community space, and the Town Centre in general.  


We need your help to inform the design of the new library and community hub in King's Lynn. There are some different approaches we could take so would like your feedback on our initial ideas.

Why your views matter

Your thoughts on what approach we could take to the outside look and feel of the building will help us move forward onto the next stage of the design project. As well as helping us decide what the final building could look like, your feedback will help us start to think about the right name for the new hub. This is also another opportunity for you to give us your ideas for the future use of the Carnegie building. 


  • Drop-in exhibition - The Place, 23 New Conduit St, King's Lynn PE30 1DE

    From 8 Nov 2023 at 10:00 to 8 Nov 2023 at 16:00

    Drop in to find out more about the project, take a look at our initial design ideas and chat to our team

  • Drop-in exhibition - The Place, 23 New Conduit St, King's Lynn PE30 1DE

    From 17 Nov 2023 at 10:00 to 17 Nov 2023 at 16:00

    Drop in to find out more about the project, take a look at our initial design ideas and chat to our team


  • King's Lynn


  • All residents


  • Libraries