Portsmouth City Council says: 'Just like our other libraries, we want it to be a welcoming community space. As always, it’s all about the books, but it’s also about meeting friends over a coffee, catching up with your e-mails, reading the newspaper or just having a little “me time” whilst the kids go wild with their imaginations.

'The 2009 Library Development Report identified the current Elm Grove Library as a service poorly sited in terms of serving the Southsea community and recommended relocation to the Palmerston Road area. The acquisition of the former Woolworths store is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a state-of-the-art library in the retail heart of Southsea. We hope that the new library, contact centre and café will attract almost 80,000 visitors a year as well as widening the appeal of the town centre, supporting local retailers and the economy.'