Transforming Boston Spa

Boston Spa site

We're transforming our site at Boston Spa

Published date:

We’re improving our Boston Spa site to create much-needed storage capacity for our collection and improve facilities for our visitors and staff.

The £95 million redevelopment has been made possible thanks to significant government investment announced in the March 2020 budget, and the approval of our planning application to Leeds City Council

Why we're doing this 

We’re running out of space. Our 44-acre campus, formerly a Second World War munitions factory, is home to over three quarters of our collection of over 170 million items. 

Our growing collection requires about 8km of new shelving annually. By the end of this decade our current storage facilities will be full. We need to significantly increase our capacity to care for the national collection for future generations.

This year we will begin constructing a new state-of-the-art storage facility. We are also making significant improvements to the environmental sustainability of our West Yorkshire site.

How we will do this 

Sustainability will be central to this project. We are aiming to make this development low carbon, with an emphasis on renewable energy and energy conservation.

The planned development will include:

  • Construction of a new high-density, low-energy automated storage building
  • Removal of outdated and environmentally-unfriendly buildings
  • Refurbishment of staff and storage areas to improve energy efficiency
  • Landscaping of the surrounding site, making the most of the natural environment and preserving local biodiversity
  • Refreshed visitor areas and a new storage viewing area.

We’re already making energy-saving improvements to the site, including the installation of 730 solar panels, a new ground source heat pump system, smart meters and better insulation.

Will this affect Readers? 

You may notice some changes while we prepare to redevelop the site and create more storage capacity.

Access to some sections of our collection may be disrupted as we move millions of items around the site to make way for new and improved storage facilities.

We plan to keep the Reading Room at Boston Spa open while we make improvements, but we do expect some unavoidable periods of noise and disruption over the next five years.

When will this happen?


We’ve already fenced off the area where we’ll build our new storage building. Construction will begin this year. If you’re visiting us you may notice some noise. We will be:

  • Digging the foundations and erecting the steel frame of the new storage facility
  • Transporting material in and around the site using heavy goods vehicles
  • Using cranes, diggers and other construction vehicles and equipment throughout the site.

2024 onwards

We’re currently planning how construction will develop next year. We hope to open our new facilities in 2026.

Get in touch

Although public consultation is now closed, we welcome your feedback on our plans. You can get in touch with any comments or questions by emailing us at

For all media enquiries please contact us at