A shelter for rough sleepers, exhibition space or homes for ex-armed forces personnel are some of the suggestions put forward by residents for future use of High Wycombe’s old library.

Last week, the Bucks Free Press revealed that the historic building on Queen Victoria Road could become offices after Bucks County Council agreed to renovate and restore it.

The building has been empty since the library service moved to the Eden Shopping Centre in 2008 and has since fallen into disrepair, prompting a major refurbishment project to be carried out.

Amid the news that the building could soon become offices with community space, Bucks Free Press readers suggested it could be better used as a shelter for the town’s homeless over the Christmas period or an exhibition centre.

Malcolm Grant said: “Surely Wycombe doesn’t need another office block. How about a resource centre for the homeless? Maybe on Christmas Day it could be used for the homeless and people that have nowhere to go for Christmas dinner.”

Marion O’Rourke added: “It should be used for something for the community not more offices. It is a really beautiful building and should be renovated and used for public events for people in Wycombe.

“An arts centre, yoga and all sorts of different classes for the public, a conference hall - there are so many things it could be used for.”

Becca Hailstone agreed, saying it should be “something for the community”.

She said: “A space where people can hire for exhibitions, like photography and art. I loved the staircase in that building as a kid. Please don't turn it into offices - such a waste of a beautiful building.”

With the county council currently deciding what to do with Bucks’ 35 children’s centres, reader Nicki Pocock suggested it could become one of the proposed “hubs” that could potentially replace the centres.

She said: “It's then accessible for all parents and carers to get to. Or even split the times - morning children’s centre, afternoon’s for elderly/mental health. A place that helps the people of Wycombe.”

John Chilver, cabinet member for resources at the county council, said they were planning to restore the neo-Georgian and Art Deco features and renovate it as offices, either for the council’s use, or for the private sector.

He said: “As a local authority, accountable to its taxpayers and for the stewardship of public money, we have a responsibility to get the best value from public buildings. There is a demand for offices, and offices bring employment.”