Conservative MPs join forces to save and regenerate former libraries

16 Mar 2020 03:14
Published by: Daniel Almond

Bolton West and Atherton MP, Chris Green, has teamed up with his colleague, James Grundy, newly elected MP for Leigh, to urge the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to fund the safeguarding and regeneration of the old Atherton Library.

Wigan Council have recently moved the library facilities from the old Atherton Library and Technical College buildings to a new location and as a result, these buildings are now left vacant and unused.

In response to this decision, the Atherton Community Trust launched a well-supported local campaign to bring about the creation of a space for community groups, whilst also providing a veteran's centre. This proposal however has been opposed by Wigan Council, who instead plan to sell off the building privately, sparking opposition from two local Conservative MP's.

In recent months, it has come to light that a covenant on these old buildings protects them from being sold. Despite this, Wigan Council have not indicated any plans to regenerate the buildings - leading to fears that the buildings will be left to decay and will soon become irreparable.

Commenting on the story, Mr Green said: "The Council's plans to sell off this cherished building are completely opposed by local community groups and they have provided no concrete plans to regenerate these buildings.

"Residents across Atherton deserve a space that provides a vital community hub while also safeguarding the historical significance of the old Atherton Library and tech buildings."

Mr Grundy also added: "For too long, Atherton has been neglected by Wigan Council's Labour leadership, which is why Chris and I have teamed up to urge the Chancellor to provide the vital funding and resources we need to invest in our local community."


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