Manchester landmark reopens after refurbishment and asbestos removal

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Manchester Central Library has reopened following a three-and-a-half-year refurbishment that included extensive asbestos removal work.

The Grade II listed building, which opened in 1934, is one of Manchester’s best-known landmarks, but had been closed to the public since December 2010 after a council report concluded it needed a major overhaul.

A Manchester City Council study conducted at that time said: "Urgent attention is needed to deal with asbestos, fire safety, access and structural integrity. Proper solutions will be very expensive indeed and may lead to the temporary closure of the library.”

The Vincent Harris-designed building was closed for years while the necessary work was undertaken, including the removal of asbestos from the iconic dome and other areas of the roof.

Manchester Central Library needed extensive asbestos removal work.

As part of the £50 million refurbishment, contractors also restored the library’s famous Reading Room and stained glass windows, added new staircases, library space and interactive displays, and improved the acoustics.

Councillor Rosa Battle, Manchester City Council’s executive member for culture and leisure, said: "The reborn Central Library is nothing short of spectacular. Anyone who liked this Manchester gem before is going to love it now.”

She added: "This year marks the 80th anniversary of this building's original opening. The work which has been carried out since 2010 will ensure Central Library remains a fantastic asset for the city for many decades to come."

For information about asbestos removal from listed and public buildings, please get in touch with BLS Asbestos.

Published: 26th March 2014