Wigan Council has undertaken a programme of work to improve the historic Ashton library including refurbishment of the community room and restoration of the original parquet floor after the library had to be temporarily closed as a result of dry rot while work was undertaken which included roof works, joinery, plastering, flooring and painting.
A transformation of the library’s lay-out has also been completed to provide a more flexible use of space for events and activities with a fresh new look, investment in state-of-the-art computers and a self-service kiosk, making it easier for the local community to access and use online facilities.
Coun Chris Ready, cabinet portfolio holder for communities, said: “Our libraries offer a brilliant space for communities to gather, relieving social isolation and signposting residents to essential services.
“It’s great to see the refurbished Ashton library looking so good and we can’t wait to see residents and families using the facilities.”
A key feature of the refurbishment works is the installation of three large stone tablets which trace the history of three local charities.
They were once located in St Thomas’s Church before being moved to Ashton Town Hall in 1893.
They will now be on display for residents to enjoy and find out more about their local heritage.
The Linen Charity welcomes the relocation of the tablets to the iconic building, where people from the local community can come and view their heritage
Coun Jenny Bullen, cabinet member for children and young people and local councillor for the area, contributed to the works with her Brighter Borough funding.
She said: “We know how important our libraries are to residents and that’s why it’s a priority for us to invest in them.
"We know they’re at the heart of our local communities and are hubs for local people.
“The addition of the stone tablets is fantastic and a real unique feature.
"It’s brilliant to see a piece of local heritage on display which will be enjoyed for generations.”
For more information on the library service www.wigan.gov.uk/libraries.