Digital modelling shows a modern interior that opens the building back up to the public, makes use of the space and preserves many of its original features. The grade II listed building will be home to meetings rooms, a gallery, and a theatre, as well the Council chamber – all while sensitively incorporating many of the building’s historic features and being equipped with state-of-the-art technology and energy efficient systems.
Council Leader Cllr Amanda Chadderton said: “This building has been special to many hundreds and possibly thousands of Oldhamers and it is yet another exciting milestone in its restoration to see the architects’ drawings as part of the planning submission.
“The visuals show a building that retains features of a hugely important part of our history along with providing a modern, useful and sustainable place for everyone in the town to make good use of.
“This restoration goes way beyond the fondness many of us have for the Old Library and it’s a vital part of our Oldham Town Centre regeneration – we’re creating a town centre for the future where people will want to live, work, visit and socialise.
“The way in which the project has been done is key too – local young people have increased access to training and employment, around 80 per cent of the spend on the project has been with local businesses, and volunteering and other initiatives have been a feature.”
Dominic Williams, Director at Ellis Williams Architects, said: “We are delighted to be working on this fabulous restoration project for Oldham Council. We recognise the importance of the Old Library building to the local community and understand that it has a special place in the hearts of many local residents.
“With that in mind, the newly refurbished building will celebrate Oldham’s cultural heritage whilst providing a range of exciting new community facilities including theatre workshops, meeting rooms, gallery and democratic function spaces arranged around the original Victorian atrium space with historic displays.
“As well as celebrating the building’s Victorian past, the scheme also looks positively to the future with new digital infrastructure and low energy systems providing long-term sustainability for this important community asset.”
Phil Shaw, Divisional Director for Tilbury Douglas, said: “It is a real honour for the Tilbury Douglas team and our established local supply chain to be working on this scheme to transform such an historic and important site into a new cultural hub, which will add so much to the local community.
This is why we are focusing on ensuring the construction team also gives back to the local community through offering employment and learning opportunities inspiring the next generation of constructors.”
The social value that the project has already achieved for Oldham is estimated to be around £2.6m and includes 143 weeks of apprenticeships, 121 hrs education outreach & career support, more than £4000 in community support, and more than £2m spent locally.