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Ashton Library: Grand Re-opening to Celebrate Centenary Year
Thursday 16th March, 2006

Ashton Library: Grand Re-opening to Celebrate Centenary Year

On Saturday 18th March, Ashton Library will be officially re-opened by the Mayor of Wigan and the Jacqui Boardman, Chair of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, following an investment by the trust that has transformed the library into a vibrant and welcoming venue of discovery. The date also marks the centenary of the original opening ceremony in 1906 and the refurbishment has complemented the original Carnegie style of the library.

The library re-opening is a watershed event in the history of Wigan Borough’s library service following the re-visioning of the service that began in 2004. A weekend packed full of activities has been planned reflecting the new ‘active’ feel of the library including choir singing, flower arranging, reading groups, story telling and a Playstation competition.

Rodney Hill, Chief Executive of the trust says, “We are really excited about the new look and feel of the library and we are confident that the people of Ashton will embrace the changes and enjoy the new opportunities that the refurbishment presents them with. The new ‘Explore’ brand, that we are currently rolling out at all of our sixteen libraries, provides a more welcoming environment in which people can relax, study or take part in community activities. Our new vision also includes the re-programming of the libraries’ activity programme and the introduction of new opening hours across the service, including Sunday opening at Ashton.”

As part of the new ‘Explore’ feel, the library now includes dedicated areas for children and young people, as well as adults and a new area has been specifically created for community activities. The total investment in the new Ashton Library totals £171,000 and includes:

  • Redecoration to complement architectural value of the existing Carnegie library
  • Modern and easy to read external and internal signs
  • Purpose built stylish shelving
  • Technological improvements including new People’s Network provisions
  • New seating, tables and study areas

Writer and broadcaster Stuart Maconie, who is also the official patron of Wigan Borough’s library service, says, “As a child I used to attend the old children’s library on Powell Street in Wigan, so libraries and reading is in my blood. Libraries are the pillars of our communities and they should be treasured and nurtured. The evolution we are seeing in Wigan’s libraries makes me proud to be their patron and I would encourage people to take the opportunity to visit Ashton Library and witness the progress for themselves.”

Members of the public are invited to attend the official opening weekend of Ashton Library on Saturday March 18th and Sunday March 19th from 9am to 1pm. The official ceremony will take place inside the library at 11am on the Saturday. For further information about Ashton Library please call 01942 727119 or see www.wlct.org/libraries. Ashton Library is situated on the corner of Old Road and Wigan Road in Ashton-in-Makerfield town centre.

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