A COMMUNITY group has hailed success after getting Grade-II listed building status for Tyldesley Library.

Friends of Tyldesley Library wanted the Stanley Street site to be protected in the future and avoid the historic building being bulldozed and replaced with a housing development. In their eyes, this now secures the future of the site as a local asset for years to come.

The library was originally opened on December 18, 1909. It replaced the Temperance and Education Hall which had been built on the site in 1851, latterly known as the Mechanics’ Institute.

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Leigh Journal: Independent Network councillor for Tyldesley and Mosley Common, James FishIndependent Network councillor for Tyldesley and Mosley Common, James Fish (Image: Independent Network)

Cllr James Fish, representative for Tyldesley and Mosley Common and former director of the Friends of Tyldesley Library group, said: “I was delighted with the news that Tyldesley Library has been given Grade II listed status. It’s fantastic to see such an iconic building with such a rich history now be protected.

“I would like to thank the friends of Tyldesley Library for all their much-valued support over the last 12 months.

I would also like to pay tribute to Mrs Gillian Davies who we sadly lost in February of this year at the age of 82. Without Gillian, the library wouldn’t have had a ‘Friends of’ group and it is with her hard work and love for Tyldesley Library that the group still exists today.

“I’m sure Gillan will be absolutely delighted with the fantastic news that Tyldesley Library is now a listed building. This now means Tyldesley Library will forever remain at Stanley Street and protect the building for many generations to come.”

Leigh Journal: Cllr Fish with James Grundy MP and other members of the Friends of Tyldesley Library groupCllr Fish with James Grundy MP and other members of the Friends of Tyldesley Library group (Image: Friends of Tyldesley Library)

Historic England conducted the building assessment on March 23, and credited the architectural and historic interest of the library as well as the strong local tradition of access to education. They recommended listing the building as a Grade-II site.

This positive news for the building follows years of uncertainty. However, two years after its services were temporarily moved to Tyldesley Town Hall, in September 2022 it was announced that the library would return to its old site.

The return was hailed by locals who had feared the move to the town hall on Elliott Street could become permanent. Before the library can return to its day-to-day proceedings though, it must undergo a £1.5m refurbishment project.