Barriers have been installed around a part of a historic building after councillors said masonry had fallen from the building.

Work has been carried out to make Westhoughton Library  ‘safe’ councillors have reassured the public.

Westhoughton North councillor Arthur Price says he got the call to say that masonry had fallen from the building, and after reporting it he was told it had been “made safe”.

The masonry fell as Storm Elin battered Bolton, uprooting trees, on December 9.

It comes as the town hall is set to undergo a huge transformation, keeping it as a community hub, as well as preserving the historical features and maintaining the building built in 1903/04.

He said: “They have put barriers up.


The Bolton News: Barriers put up following fallen masonry in DecemberBarriers put up following fallen masonry in December (Image: Public)

“They did a safety check and said it was okay.

“I have asked for it to be further investigated, and they said they will get back to me, so I am waiting for the engineer’s report.

“Obviously there is a lot going on with the town hall and next year is going to be crucial to it.

“My concern was for the people walking past because it was very close to hurting someone.”

Cllr Price says it is lucky that no one was hurt when the masonry fell, and he hopes that the building will be up and running and “used for what it should be” as soon as possible.

He added: “It is a magnificent building, and it has been neglected.

“I am determined to not lose the building.”

The Bolton News: chunks left on the groundchunks left on the ground (Image: Public)

It comes just months before new scaffolding is due to be erected around the town hall and library in order to carry out repairs.

Councillors say the fencing had been erected to keep people away from the part of the building where the masonry fell.

Fellow ward councillor Cllr Martin Tighe says that it is more important than ever that work gets off the ground “sooner rather than later”, which is expected to start in around April/May next year.

He said: “It’s now coming to the point where it’s not just not being used socially and for the community relying on it, where it is now being a public danger.

“We need to move forward with it for the betterment of the community.

“With the weather we have been having it’s more possible for slates to fall off.

“It paramount to maintain the look, feel, and architecture of the building.”

In October Cllr Tighe says that masonry fell from the building after a truck crashed into it. 

Westhoughton South councillor, David Chadwick, said: "Bolton Council officers are working on it to resolve the problems.

"Clearly we have had Covid in the last four years. 

"You can point fingers, but as far as the community are concerned, we need to get it sorted and resolved, and it would be nice to get it back into use for the community. The sooner we can do that, the better. 

"It needs someone to make a decision and and get it underway - the sooner it is started, the sooner it is finished. It is a building I feel is iconic in Westhoughton. 

"When the Labour party left office in 2019, there was a £2.7m allocation for restoration of the town hall building."

Under the plans there will be opportunities for not just community groups to use that space, but also to be used for commercial spaces, due to the building being 120 years old and in need of maintenance, and costs that have continued to increase over the years.

Carnegie Hall is one of the spaces that will be preserved for community use, as well as the council chambers, and old features such as stair banisters.

The library is currently still open, which is also used by many local groups, including the history group.

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