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Oldham Old Library first look of Council Chamber

The restoration of Oldham’s Old Library continues to take shape with the phase two fit-out unveiled

This architectural gem, steeped in history since its grand opening in 1883 is currently undergoing a magnificent transformation that will turn this building into a space for council services and a hub for the community. Works on the outside – including a new roof and restored stonework are complete and the inside of the building is now being brought back to life – take a look below!


To mark the significant milestone, Oldham Council, construction partner Tilbury Douglas and the wider team came together on 14 February 2024 – just over a year since the 140th anniversary of when the building was officially opened to the public in August 1883.

As part of the event, attendees explored the inside to see the phase one restoration progress made that has transformed this important historic building. They also heard more details of the phase two fit-out to really bring the building to life.

Preserving key historical features has been at the centre of the restoration, including relief sculptures – which are features in the stonework. These add meaning to the building and were meant to add context to the building as a library and art gallery. Located on the east and west walls are a collection of carved stone heads – figures from literature, art, music, science, and engineering. The Lady Wrigley statue also sits atop of the historic building, proudly holding a wreath in one hand and a book in the other.

Once complete, the library will have space for vital council services, an extended community gallery, Oldham Theatre Workshop, a contemporary venue for public meetings, a fully equipped council chamber, and dedicated support staff facilities.


Speaking on the progress of the historic building, Cllr Arooj Shah, said

We’re passionate about our heritage buildings in Oldham, and I hope this project gives people hope that we will work hard to care for them and make sure these historic places play a part in our future. We’ve got so much happening to regenerate Oldham town centre. It’s a hugely exciting time for our borough and I can’t wait for the Old Library project to complete and to reopen this beautiful building to Oldhamers once again.



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