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Rochdale - In The Media

Blog post   •   May 09, 2014 10:38 BST

Many thanks to the Manchester Evening News for their fantastic coverage of the renovations at Middleton Library. A copy of their article is below:

Library opens new chapter

A two year project to restore and re-purpose the town’s main library has been completed.

The scaffolding around Middleton Library was taken down last month, signalling the end of the £450,000 scheme, which began in March 2012.

Over the last two years the Long Street library has been re-designed inside while the outside has been restored to its Victorian splendour.

Philip Cooke, the council’s customer access operations manager, said there had been a surge in the numbers of people coming through the doors since the work was completed.  He said: “When the building was covered in scaffolding it put people off coming into the library.

“Those that did come inside then had to contend with the noise the builder’s were making, so there was an inevitable tailing off in the number of people visiting.

“But since the scaffolding has come down there has been a significant increase in footfall, something we hope will continue over the coming weeks as we hold more events.”

Work on the library, which first opened in 1889, began in March 2012.

The building was closed for the first six months  of the project while the inside was gutted during the first phase of work.

On the ground floor, a large imposing reception desk was torn up to create space for an airy lending library while a new children’s section and two meeting rooms were also created.

Upstairs, which is now accessible by a new lift, virtually all the dividing walls were knocked down and in its place a learning zone, third meeting room and research area were created for people to delve into the town’s archives.

Space was also created for staff working at Middleton Township on the first floor following the closure of the council’s former Sadler Street offices.

Mr Cooke said the work had transformed the building from a traditional lending library into a community hub.

“For example, the new Sam Bamford trail we have put together includes the library, which we hope we can use to promote other attractions in the town as well.”

The third phase of work was completed last month.

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