A York library is booking a new future as a dance studio.

Plans have been submitted for the change of use to the 40-year-old Clifton Library, which is to relocate this summer.

Spotlight Dance Academy, which began in 2009 and is based on Green Lane Trading Estate, Clifton, says it is already talking to the city council about buying the site but for this to happen, it needs planning permission first to convert the building.

The application explained: “There will be no structural changes to the building. From the outside, the only change to the building that we would like to make is to the signage to change it from "Clifton Library" to "Spotlight Dance Academy" and an accompanying logo. The signage will be the same size and prominence as the existing signage.”


Planning documents also said there has been security concerns about the site, with reports of children from the adjacent play park playing on the library roof.

To deter this, a taller fence would be erected, with lockable gates for pedestrian and vehicle access.

“We would also wish to install CCTV for the protection of our staff, customers (who are mostly young girls) and property,” the application continued.

Internally, partition walls would create two large studios from the existing large library room. The floor covering would change from carpet to a professional dance floor.

Plans also said: “Existing advertising boards will be re-branded from City of York Council / Explore libraries to Spotlight Dance Academy. We would also like to block out the 6 eye-level windows to rooms that will be used as Dance Studios or changing rooms to prevent the public from looking in. This will be achieved by using Spotlight Dance Academy logo panels fixed to the existing eye-level windows.”

They added the Dance Academy currently operates from 4pm Monday to Friday and from 9am to 1pm on Saturday and Sunday. But it would seek to extend these from 9am to 9pm weekdays and 9-5 at weekends.

This would “to allow us to develop the business with new classes for the very young, and for adults.”

The application further explained: “The application states potential opening at the weekends for long periods. This is simply to allow for times when weekends are used for show rehearsals or dance class examinations. This is to be the exception rather than the "norm". On average, the studio is only expected to be occupied for around 40-50 hours per week.”

In the meantime, City of York Council says work is well underway on the new £5.3million Clifton Explore Library Learning Centre in the former Clifton Without Junior School.

A recent update said: “Final building work is progressing swiftly and we hope to be ready to get the library furniture in during summer, with lots of books on the shelves ready for an autumn opening.”