Published On: Sun, Nov 19th, 2023
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The beautiful UK village hiding one of Britain’s best kept secrets | UK | News

We all know that London is a pricey place for property.

In fact it’s so costly that the UK’s biggest literary landmark – The British Library – can no longer afford to store all of its titles there. 

And so millions of them have now been shipped to the little known village of Boston Spa in West Yorkshire. 

The 44-acre facility is a mix of vast warehouses and ex-World War Two weapons workshops.

Inside three-quarters of the British Library’s 170 million-strong collection can be found.

A law called the Legal Deposit Act means a copy of every work which has been published in the UK as far back as 1662 is placed in the British Library.

the rule has now been expanded to include digital publications such as websites and blogs – so it’s easy to understand why space has run out in the capital.

Alasdair Bruce, a manager at the British Library, spoke to The Times about how the facility – which first opened in 1962 – came about.

He said: “Without us intending to, it’s been a bit of a secret. 

“There’s a finite amount of storage space that we have for all this, but an infinite amount of material.”

That desperate need for extra space led to most of the collection being moved to Yorkshire – with space costing £4 a metre rather than £26 in London.

A new storage building at the Boston Spa site will provide an extra 137 miles of shelf space and plans to welcome more members of the public.

As well as more storage, a cafe and reading room are also included in the £95 million redevelopment plans.

Boston Spa itself is a pretty little village situated near Wetherby, North Yorkshire – which is just outside of Leeds.

The village has a population around 4000.

The parish council website explains more.

It says: “The first building in Boston Spa was built in 1753 and during the 18th and 19th centuries the village expanded. 

“Boston Spa has a busy and vibrant High Street with a wide range of shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. 

“There is a library and post office in the village centre and free car parking.”

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