Oldham's historic Library refurbishment

Arts & Education

Work on the  first phase of a major project to restore and reopen Oldham’s historic Old Library has started.

The Grade II listed building was originally constructed in 1883 to provide a free public library, it was also extended to provide additional lecture theatre and gallery space tHIn 2017 all public access finally came to an end.

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

The first phase of the works will create a safe space which can then be further developed. 

The  project will enhance Oldham’s cultural quarter alongside Oldham Library and Gallery Oldham. The cultural quarter will also be boosted by a new theatre when the Old Post Office and former Quaker Meeting House are redeveloped, providing a new home for Oldham Coliseum.

Work will initially focus on the Old Library’s exterior, to prevent further deterioration and structural works to futureproof the building. There will be a new roof that will also reinstate the original 19th century design for the southern gallery

The scheme is backed by the Procure Partnerships Framework.

Phil Shaw, who is  Divisional Director for the North West at Tilbury Douglas, commented: “Being able to transform such an historic and important site into a new venue, which will add so much to the local community, 

The team recently delivered guest lectures on site management and behavioural safety to more than 100 Oldham College students, with similar initiatives planned over the next 18 months.”