Chorlton library being brought back to its ‘heritage design’ as exciting plans are revealed

  • Featured Image: Manchester City Council
  • Unveiling of the grand dome from 1914
  • Introduction of Open+ Technology
  • Meeting rooms, children library and more community spaces among the new exciting additions

Chorlton library is currently undergoing major refurbishment to bring the building back to its original grandeur.

The grade II listed building will return to its original structure , including an unveiling of its original dome. The dome which has been hidden for many years will finally be revealed again when it reopens in 2025.

Other features from the Edwardian building including the emerald tiles will also be revealed as the building is stripped back to it’s ‘heritage design.’

Chorlton library under construction following the announcement of its refurbishment
Chorlton library is currently under construction until early 2025. / Photo Credit: Anna Klekot

Celebrating the past and looking to the future

Citywide Services Manager for Manchester City Council, Jane McKelvey has said: “We’re returning it back to its heritage feel because it’s a listed building. But, at the same time we’re adding new meeting rooms to the back of the library because it’s a very busy library for community activity.

“Other carbon reduction works are also going on. So on the one hand, we’re returning it back to it’s heritage state, on the other hand, we’re making it fit for the future by becoming zero carbon and sustainable.”

Open+ Technology is coming to Chorlton

The Open+ Technology is already at work at five other libraries in Manchester and will now come to Chorlton.

The system has been successful in other areas of Manchester such as Withington, Longsight, Gorton and The Avenue in North Manchester.

This allows library members to enter the library when there is no staff working, extending opening hours for the community members.

Jane said: “It’s been really popular [at other sites]. It’s a good way of making the building more sustainable because you’re getting more use out of a fixed asset.”

‘We know that people want those spaces’

Besides the open+ technology there will also be a new childrens library. Opening up the library to even more community gatherings is another reason for the much-needed makeover.

Jane said: “One of the reasons why we’re doing this work is to have more community space, because there is a lot of groups around children, both voluntary and community groups. There was only one meeting room before so we know that people want those spaces.

“There’s a strong sense of place and sense of community spirit around it. So we’ll be emphasising that quite strongly. We’ll also be buying new stock for the library. It’s one of our biggest business libraries in terms of books that are being lent out. So we’ll make sure that it’s done really well.

Chorlton library extension which remains open during the construction.
The small extension of Chorlton library is still open for people to visit. / Photo Credit: Anna Klekot

The library in Chorlton will fully reopen in 2025.