Plans for a new lift and walkway at a university library have been approved by the council.

The Grade II* listed library at the University of Sussex, designed by Sir Basil Spence, will see the new circular brick lift tower constructed as part of the university’s efforts to improve accessibility across campus.

The development, designed by architect firm Keith Williams, will add the tower in front of the library’s main facade to connect the university’s main public space and the library’s main entrance.

A new 80-metre-long concrete walkway will also be placed above a largely redundant services plinth.

The design, which will be made from red Sussex radiused stretcher bonded brickwork, takes references from other circular buildings on the campus designed by Sir Basil.

Fiona Courage, deputy university librarian at the University of Sussex, said: “The creation of a full accessible main entrance to our library has been a long-held aspiration at the University of Sussex, so we are thrilled that planning permission has been granted.

“The approved plans honour our architectural legacy whilst creating a modern, accessible entrance that will meet the needs and expectations of our university community.

“We are committed to making our campus more accessible and the addition of a new accessible library entrance marks the first step towards making our iconic library accessible for all.”

The Argus: An artists' impression of the new liftAn artists' impression of the new lift (Image: Keith Williams Architects)

Construction work is expected to begin in the middle of this year and will be completed in 2025.

Opened in 1961 as the first of the seven so-called plate-glass post-war universities, the University of Sussex laid out by Sir Basil incorporates some of the finest works of post-war mid-20th-century university architecture.

Most of the eight core buildings designed by Sir Basil are now listed.

Founded in 2001, Keith Williams Architects’s projects include the Novium Museum in Chichester, the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury and the Unicorn Theatre in London.