COMMUNITY libraries across the borough, including in Atherton and Golborne, have reopened after having closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with staff redeployed to support critical services.

A majority of facilities opened their doors on Monday, November 15 and will initially operate on reduced opening hours, so that staff can carry out additional work in relation to operating in a Covid-safe environment.

These include: Ashton, Aspull, Atherton, Golborne, Hindley, Ince, Marsh Green, Platt Bridge, Shevington and Standish.

The only community libraries not to reopen yet are Tyldesley Library, which is currently undergoing building maintenance, Lamberhead Green Library, which is undergoing construction works, with an opening date expected to be confirmed soon, and Hope volunteer-run library, which is under review.

Cllr Chris Ready, cabinet portfolio holder for culture and communities, said: “We are really excited to welcome residents back to our community libraries.

“They remain an important asset within the borough and I know many people have missed them dearly throughout the pandemic.

“While these libraries will be operating on reduced hours, members will continue to have access to all the services they would do under normal circumstances.”

Community library opening hours will be Monday to Wednesday, 10am to 2pm and Thursday to Friday between 1pm and 5pm.

Meanwhile the central libraries in Leigh and Wigan, which reopened in April on reduced hours, will begin operating on Saturdays from November 20.

Their opening hours will be Monday to Saturday, between 10am and 2pm. However, Saturday will be for library services only and will not include the Life Centre.