8. Old Library And Cultural Quarter
The Old Library was built in 1883. Credit: via Oldham Council

Tilbury Douglas to transform Oldham’s Old Library

Julia Hatmaker

The dilapidated grade two-listed building off Union Street needs extensive repairs before it can brought back into public use.

The library, which was built in 1883, is a “key site” in the cultural quarter of Oldham, according got the council. Plans to restore it were approved in November.

Tilbury Douglas is handling the restoration efforts, which will begin by focusing on the exterior to prevent further deterioration. The company will also conduct structural works to futureproof the structure, including adding a new roof.

Plans for the interior of the building are still being decided.

“This important refurbishment work is the start of an exciting new future for the Old Library,” said Oldham Council Leader Cllr Arooj Shah.

“We know it has a special place in the hearts of many Oldhamers, and we are committed to bringing it back into public use and safeguarding it for future generations,” she continued.

“We want to bring it back into use in a way that compliments the cultural quarter and celebrates Oldham’s history and heritage,” Shah said, adding that the council was still soliciting ideas and feedback on what to do with the space.

Old Oldham Library, Oldham Council, P Planning Documents

The old Oldham Library in its heyday and what its interior looks like today. Credit: via planning documents

The renovation project will focus on using local employment and labour, offering apprentice and work experience opportunities in stone restoration, roofing, timber repairs, lead working and zinc cladding.

“Being able to transform such an historic and important site into a new venue, which will add so much to the local community, is a real honour for the team working on this scheme,” said Phil Shaw, divisional director for the North West at Tilbury Douglas.

“This is why we are focusing on ensuring the construction team also gives back to the local community through offering employment or learning opportunities.”

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Why are the council looking for ideas after they have already paid two different architects to come up with fully fleshed out schemes. There was even a contractor on site at one point.

By Anonymous