Restoration of Nelson’s Edwardian library complete

Peter Capestake from Pendle Movie Makers, singer Samantha Oxborough and Simon Entwistle join guests at the opening of the refurbished Nelson Library on Booth Street.
Peter Capestake from Pendle Movie Makers, singer Samantha Oxborough and Simon Entwistle join guests at the opening of the refurbished Nelson Library on Booth Street.
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Nelson’s old Edwardian library has been given a new lease of life now that a huge restoration project is complete.

And next week there will be a formal launch. The Booth Street building is available to people who would like to use it as their impressive facility.

Pendle Council leader Coun. Joe Cooney said: “We’ve been peeling back the layers of history to reveal the old library, built back in 1906. It was a library until 1974 when it became offices for the newly-formed Pendle Council.”

Now the pioneering joint venture Pendle Council/Barnfield Investment Properties company – Pearl2 – has regenerated the building. Coun. Cooney said: “Barnfield Construction has been busy restoring the building on behalf of Pearl2 for the past 11 months.”

Local people, visitors and business people have the chance to see it at the opening event on Thursday, from 4pm – 6.30pm.

The free event includes Tours by Top Hat guide Simon Entwistle of TV fame, an illustrated history talk on the library by heritage expert Fiona McIntyre from Lancashire County Council, live music by Trawden String Quartet, soprano Samantha Oxborough and tenor Jack Bowtell from Pendle Youth Choir, art by Shahida Ahmed and film footage of Nelson in the 60s by Pendle Movie Makers. There will also be library history displays including old newspapers and books.

“The Booth Street Library is a really elegant building. I think people will be amazed when they come!” said Coun. Cooney.

Barnfield boss Mr Tim Webber said: “We’re keen for people to see this pearl of a building through our free open event. We’re also inviting local entrepreneurs and agents to see the huge potential the former library has for businesses and organisations at a breakfast viewing early on the May 23rd. Our site manager Geoff Curry and his team have carefully restored its original features.”

And he said: “I came here as a lad to the junior library. I also spent years visiting here to meet Pendle Council. I’ve witnessed the building through all its phases. I think it is one of the most iconic buildings in Nelson. It was only a couple of years away from being insolvable. It’s been great to restore it.”

Coun. Paul White, Pendle Council enterprise chief, said: “Thanks to £400,000 funding from the Heritage Lottery, which covered a third of the cost, the work is now complete and the building is looking fantastic!”

Coun. Joe Cooney added: “I think part of this beautiful building would make an excellent bistro!”

Find out about the event on website: www.pendle.gov.uk or about taking over all or part of the building contact Tracy Clavell-Bate from Barnfield on 442300