More than 100 years of history have been uncovered at Bolton Central Library as part of renovation work to meet the needs of today’s service users.

The building has been stripped back to reveal many of the original features from when the library was first opened, including the original walls, ceilings, and parquet floors.

Many of these features will be retained by contractors Robertson as part of the £4.43m renovation, backed by the government’s Towns Fund and the council.

Now the site has been cleared, work can begin to create a new café, an expanded children's area, improved social spaces, updated digital facilities and the addition of a mezzanine floor.

The Bolton News: Bolton Library. Picture Paul HayesBolton Library. Picture Paul Hayes

The new space has been designed to reflect the changing way in which communities use their local libraries, with an added emphasis on creativity and accessing the internet.

Book borrowing and reading will remain central to the project, but the new additions will allow Library to offer an enhanced range of services including:

• Digital facilities

• Education and employment information

• Cultural and creative activities

Health and wellbeing

• Signposting to other services and organisations

The new mezzanine floor will provide a welcoming space for a variety of local community and wellbeing groups and for other groups who visit and wish to use 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 for young people of different ages.

The Bolton News: Picture of development of library by Paul HayesPicture of development of library by Paul Hayes

Cllr Martyn Cox leader of the council. said: “There are many years of history in Central Library and it was a privilege to see the building as it might have been when it first opened its doors to the people of Bolton.

“I am greatly looking forward to the next chapter for the library as we create a truly modern facility that will offer an even wider range of services to our residents.

“It will be a space for the whole community to use, bringing even more people into the town centre.”