Manchester City Council


We have an all-party Members Review Panel that meets regularly to scrutinise progress on the refurbishment of the Town Hall Extension and Central Library, as well as looking at the changes in working practices being trialled at 1st Street in preparation for the return to the Town Hall, although the changes are already bringing us significant benefits in improved efficiency and effectiveness.

Yesterday the panel had the opportunity to tour the Extension and the Library and look at the work in progress. Going inside the Library was a bit of a shock as there are currently no floors and you can see all the way from the basement floor to the top of the Reading Room dome. Some of the old floors were so thin that they were almost literally being held up by the book stacks and being kept stable by the books themselves hence the necessity of new floors. What you now can see is the vastness of the space, something that will still be possible post restoration as the ground floor will be fully open ( apart from the pillars holding up the new Reading Room floor ) and as visitors come into the Library they will be able to see right across this space. We went from there into the Town Hall Extension and the spaces that will become the new Customer Service Centre and the new lending library are now beginning to take shape, as is the basement level link between the lending library and the Town Hall. On the 8th floor we saw how much lighter open plan offices are being created, one of the reasons the Extension will be able to accommodate far more people when the work is finished, allowing the City Council to vacate a number of other rented offices. When it's all done we will have guaranteed at least another sixty years of useful life for two very important listed buildings in a way that vastly improves access to services for Manchester residents and for visitors to the city, that improves working conditions for Council staff, that makes space for other public service providers in the Town Hall, and that allows the Council to be far more efficient.

There are 7 responses to “Floored ”

  1. Tracey Annette Says:

    I believe somewhere on the City Council website there are some photographs of the early restoration work. Is the ongoing work being documented, are photographs being taken? I'm sure there are many people who would be interested in being able to get a sneak peak - I would for one.

  2. Ian Wilmott Says:

    It's great to hear about the progress of the new central library, is it possible to see any photos of the work in progress?

  3. Mr X Says:

    There is a Flickr account; not sure of the name. You could search on Manchester City Council Library...

  4. Sarah Says:

    For those who may be interested in some of the pictures of Central Library here is the link to the Flickr account (cannot locate one for the Town Hall but will keep looking)

  5. franky Says:

    Its a shame about another listed building: the old firestation Can we trust the owner to do a good job on it?

  6. moderator Says:

    The City Council`s Flicka site has photo images of the Central Library Refurbishment see the link below. Look out for a large number of new images which should be uploaded by friday 3rd Feb. We also hope to have video clips of the two project managers explaining progress so far, now we have reached the milestone of reaching the bottom of the library, uploaded on the City Council`s internet site soon.

  7. Confidential Says:

    The attached link below is a good piece that has appeared in Manchester Confidential this weekend relating to Central Library.



The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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