Bolton Council has revealed the concept images of the new £3.7m refurbishment of Central Library, funded through the Towns Fund.
The refurbishment will include a café, expansion and upgrade of the children's area, improved social spaces, updated digital facilities and the addition of a mezzanine floor.
Bolton Central Library and History Centre is now closed whilst the refurbishment work takes place.
The temporary library at the former New Look unit in Crompton Place will open on Monday, September 26.
The designs of the new library focus on the priorities of the customers’ needs including:
- Digital facilities
- Education and employment information
- Cultural and creative activities
- Health and wellbeing
- Signposting to other services and organisations
Book borrowing and promoting reading remains a core priority of the library, however the refurbishment will help to facilitate the change in how communities use libraries, such as taking part in creative activities, accessing the internet and using digital equipment.
The new mezzanine floor will provide a welcoming space for a variety of community and wellbeing groups to use and for different groups who visit the building. Areas will also be dedicated to studying and using information resources.
The flexibility of the new central library plaza space will provide event opportunities for a wide variety of organisations and companies to use it for performances, author events and storytelling.
A new children and young people’s library space will be created and split into three areas.
The first section will be for under 5s with a dedicated area for play and exploration.
The second and third spaces will be for older children and young people to develop their experience and joy of reading whilst also being in a safe and engaging place.
A full programme of activities and events will take place for children and young people. This area will also be one of the main venues for school sessions.
Leader of the council, Cllr Martyn Cox said:
“The library will become a new and exciting creative hub with facilities and event space to attract more visitors to Bolton, as well as benefiting our residents.
“The spaces have been designed to complement the heritage of the Le Mans Crescent building and at the same time making it easier for staff to interact with visitors and vice versa.”
Deputy Leader of the council, Cllr Hilary Fairclogh said:
“We know how important libraries are to our communities and central library is a vital and much-loved asset of the town.
“These exciting and innovative upgrades will better meet the needs of the community from young children to our older residents.
“One completed, the new-look Central Library will play a vital role in our future cultural strategy for the town centre.”
Temporary library at Crompton Place
A welcome coffee morning will take place on Monday, September 26 between 10am and 12pm.
It will also be an opportunity for visitors to share their comments about the latest design images of the refurbishment project.
Opening hours at Crompton Place will be:
- Monday: 9am-5.30pm
- Tuesday: 9am-5.30pm
- Wednesday: 9.30am-5.30pm
- Thursday: 9am-5.30pm
- Friday: 9am-5.30pm
- Saturday: 9am-5pm
- Sunday: 10.30am-4.30pm
Bolton Museum and Aquarium will remain open as normal, apart from Sundays when opening times will be 10.30am to 4.30pm.
All other Bolton libraries are open as usual.