Plans to move Bolton’s iconic central library into a shopping centre while £3M works take place have now been approved with new opening times set.

The plan, which will see around 30,000 books and other services moved into the vacant former New Look branch in Crompton Place this August, were given the green light at a meeting of Bolton Council on Tuesday.

This will mean shorter opening times in the evenings, but council leader Cllr Martyn Cox says he believes this will be a crucial step in the redevelopment of the library

The Bolton News:

He said: “We’ve invested over £3M in the library, obviously we need the library services to do the work that they do, and Crompton Place seemed quite an appropriate place to move it too.”

He added: “I’ve got a lot of confidence in the library team in the work they’re doing and how they should be able to handle the move.”

The Bolton News:

Bolton's iconic central library on Le Mans Crescent

The library on Le Mans Crescent is now set to close on August 8 with the temporary facility at Crompton Place opening on August 22, where it will remain for around a year.

The Crompton Place library will then close in August 2023 but the council has not yet confirmed when Le Mans Crescent will reopen after the refurbishment is complete. 

During this time, opening hours will be reduced from 62 hours a week to 56, with the library set to shut at 5.30pm between Mondays and Thursdays, rather than 7.30pm as it does currently.

Opening hours will stay as they are on Fridays and Saturdays, between 9am and 5.30pm and on Sundays between 10am and 4pm.

Moving the library will cost around £177,079 according to the council with £50,000 of this coming from Towns Fund capital and the rest coming from the Library and Museum Services budget.

Cllr Cox says that he hopes that moving the library to Crompton Place will ensure that it is still close by to where people are used to and that it can continue running the same kinds of wider community activities from its new home.