Ambitious plans for ‘major refurbishment’ of Chorlton’s historic library unveiled

The building will close for work next week, and reopen once again in 2025.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 15th March 2024

Ambitious plans for the transformation of Chorlton’s historic library have been unveiled, and they certainly do look fancy.

In case you hadn’t already heard, Chorlton Library – which first opened all the way back in 1914, and is one of 24 public libraries in Manchester managed by Manchester City Council – is about to undergo a “major refurbishment” that will see the stunning Grade II-listed building lovingly upgraded, before it reopens to the public once again next year.

Work to the well-known Manchester Road site will “enhance the existing structure” of the building, according to the Council.

Improvements to the exterior stonework of the building and its windows, as well as the renewal of its electrical and mechanical systems, are just some of the tasks at hand unveiled as part of the Library’s transformation plans.

Additional meeting rooms within the existing structure will also be created as part of the refurbishment, and this means that, when the building reopens in 2025, the Library will benefit from special ‘Open+ technology’ to allow it to be “open and accessible” to the local community for more hours every day.


But by far the stand-out feature of the transformation plans has to be the intention to unveil the building’s fabulous dome, which has been hidden for countless years.

All work will go towards ensuring the building contributes to lower carbon emissions, and will ultimately help the Council meet its target of becoming zero carbon by 2038.


Plans to refurbish Chorlton’s library also come just weeks after the Council also unveiled its “future vision” for the redevelopment of the Manchester suburb’s high street too.

Councillor John Hacking, who is the Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure at Manchester City Council, called Chorlton Library a “unique building” and “a great asset to the city” – but promised the revamp will be “worth the wait” once it reopens.

“It’s a much-loved library, and continues to be at the heart of the Chorlton community as it has been for the last 100 years, [but] this work will bring it right up-to-date and ensure it continues to be better equipped to serve the local community and fit for purpose for the next 100 years and more, as well as meeting our sustainability plans and carbon neutral targets.


“As one of the busiest libraries in the city, I know it will be missed but I can assure you that the revamp will be worth the wait.”

Chorlton Library closes its doors for two-weeks next Sunday 24 March, and it will then reopen with a reduced offering from the extension at the back of the building from Monday 8 April.

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Services in the reduced library offer will include free internet and Wi-Fi, a small selection of stock, and a reservation pick-up point – with these reservations able to be made for free on the Manchester libraries catalogue online.

Featured Image – Manchester City Council