§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what plans she has to extend the capacity of the St. Pancras British library's building when capacity has been reached. 249W
§ Mr. Sproat
We have no present plans to extend the British library's new St. Pancras building once it has been completed. However, that does not necessarily preclude further library development. For example, the capital costs could be incurred by the private sector under the private finance initiative. My right hon. Friend has agreed to consider proposals, and the assessment of the library's future needs which they embody, which the library has put to her for further development on the surplus land to the north of the St. Pancras construction site. The new St. Pancras building will provide considerable improvements in book storage conditions, and in the flexibility with which readers can be served and accommodated in the reading rooms. Like any national library in receipt of published material under the legal deposit system, the British library's collections are growing in size, and the library's plans include the need for material to be stored, as well as at St. Pancras, at its northern site in Boston Spa where there is scope for future expansion.