Construction, Regeneration

Bolton Library refurbishment

Partner: Bolton Council
Project value: £4.4m gross project sum
Completion: 2024

Bolton Central Library has undergone a £4.4m restoration and refurbishment to provide new creative and cultural spaces that modernise and adapt the building to meet changing user requirements and serve the wider needs of the community.

Strategic partnership to benefit Bolton

Through a strategic partnership with Bolton Council, Clear Futures ensured the project met their requirements, provided value for money, and was delivered within programme and budget. 

Clear Futures supported the Council in securing Levelling Up funding and procured a Tier 1 contractor. Acting on behalf of the Council, Clear Futures managed the development of the designs, cost plan and program during preconstruction; as well as managing the construction phase, and co-ordinating practical completion and handover activities.

Transformational works to respect heritage

The transformation, carried out by Robertson Construction North West has seen the Library refurbished to its original splendour.

Built in the 1930’s and part of the wider Bolton Museum, Archives and Aquarium, the parquet floor has been returned to its former glory, with new period lighting and decoration reflecting to its heritage background.

Works also included: 

  • new digital facilities,
  • fully equipped café and a refurbished seating area with bespoke joinery,
  • children and young people’s library space with dedicated areas according to age,
  • Changing Places facility,
  • and additional mezzanine floor.

Delivering improved outcomes

Bolton Library’s new modern space has been designed  to build on the core deliverables of book borrowing and computer use, while offering flexible space for a wide variety of organisations like community groups, businesses, artists, performers and others.

It will increase long-term life opportunities for residents by embedding health, digital skills and reader development as part of its operational business plan.

Significantly more footfall is expected, and people’s perceptions of the town centre are rising. The library service has already seen a dramatic increase in usage since reopening, with new and old visitors being attracted from a wider demographic. The new café area is supporting footfall not just to the library, but to the museum and aquarium as well, and is becoming a focal meeting point for local people and visitors.

Social value integrated

social value delivered
87 weeks
training opportunities
17 local people

Tier 1 contractor Robertson drove social value activities that were designed to meet the needs of the local community, including:

  • 17 people employed locally,
  • 87 weeks Training opportunities,
  • £5,000 of community support,
  • 154 hours educational sessions
  • Neighbourhood community project

Benefits for people and place

The transformational change of Bolton Library will now make a huge contribution to people and place, providing inspiration and entertainment that promotes interaction and cohesion, to attract both new and repeat visitors from a wide range of demographics and socio-economic backgrounds.

Regeneration is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about improving the lives of our residents by offering better services, experiences, and opportunities. The newly renovated Bolton Library is a perfect example of this, creating a modern, versatile, and welcoming space that offers something for all ages.

Cllr Akhtar Zaman, Deputy Leader, Bolton Council