PLANS have been submitted to create a new modern library and community centre in Little Lever.
An application has been submitted by Bolton Council for the library to be built on the site of a former Tesco Metro store in Market Street.
It is suggested that along with the library facility, there could be a range of other community facilities involved in the new development — potentially including a healthcare centre.
The council has acquired the building which has been closed for some time, with a new superstore opening to replace it in Crossley Street in the village in 2014.
The authority is now carrying out preliminary tests to ascertain what state the building is in and whether the library could be built inside it — or whether it needs to be demolished and replaced with an entirely new building.
The current library, based in the nearby in Coronation Square, was opened in 1940 and is a well-used facility.
However, at just 1,200 square foot it has been unable to grow with demand and the Tesco building would offer around six times the space.
The initial planning application is to allow for a change of use for the building and if it is approved, council leader Cliff Morris said further discussions will take place on what should be included in the new development.
He said: “First of all we have to carry out the proper tests to see what state the building is in and that is what we are doing.
“We will then form a policy development group with local ward councillors and other councillors to discuss what can be achieved within the new library.
“We are looking at whether some form of health provision can be included, which is something we have done with other facilities like Breightmet.”
He added: “I really think this will be good for the people of Little Lever and will help its town centre area.”
Little Lever Councillor Sean Hornby said he believes another option would be to extend the existing library.
He said: “I think there is enough land behind the library to extend it and that would cost less than what is being proposed.
“As ward councillors we need to be consulted on these plans at every stage and the council leader has assured me that this will happen.”
Cllr Morris also said that discussions would be taking place with local councillors regarding what can be done with the existing library building.