The transformation of the town hall and Carnegie library is underway.

Councillors and local historians came together to see the ongoing refurbishment of Royton Town Hall and Library and discuss options for its interior fit-out. 

The visit was organised as part of a workshop to help select the preferred materials for internal decoration and flooring. 

Oldham Council is carrying out the £2.4 million revamp to restore the building back to its original Victorian glory and provide an improved space for the community to use. 

In a statement, Oldham Council leader Amanda Chadderton said: “We’ve made brilliant progress and it’s fantastic to see the buildings start to come back to life, celebrating their original design and heritage. 

“The clock tower’s copper roof has been repaired along with the clock face and we’ve demolished the 1970s rear extensions.

The Oldham Times: Cllr Amanda Chadderton in front of Royton Town HallCllr Amanda Chadderton in front of Royton Town Hall  

“We want the town hall and library’s original character to shine through and are delighted to be working alongside Royton Local History Society to select the right materials for the building’s era. 

“It’s really exciting to start seeing everything taking shape and we look forward to welcoming the community back to a much-improved building for them to use as soon as work completes.” 

Royton Town Hall was opened as a dedicated municipal building in September 1880, by James Ashworth, the first Chairman of the Royton Local Board of Health. 

The adjacent Royton Library is a ‘Carnegie library’ – opened in 1907, and funded by philanthropist and businessman Andrew Carnegie.

The Oldham Times: Andrew Carnegie, pictured in 1913Andrew Carnegie, pictured in 1913

Once the richest man in the world, the philanthropist funded thousands of libraries across the world – including in the UK, USA, Ireland, and Canada, amongst other countries.

Following the demolition of the rear extensions, a new rear wall will be constructed to complement the character and detail of the original buildings.

The cleared area will also be landscaped to create a new outdoor space with seating for residents and visitors to enjoy.

The Oldham Times: Cllr Amanda Chadderton standing showing the rear extensions demolishedCllr Amanda Chadderton standing showing the rear extensions demolished

Inside, the buildings will be made fully accessible by adding lifts and improved facilities for people with disabilities – including a Changing Places toilet which contains adult-sized changing benches, curtains, hoists and space for carers.  

The council says it will also alter the internal access between the town hall and library to make it easier to get between the two buildings.  

A series of other internal improvements will be made including refurbishing the town hall meeting room to become an asset for the community to hire.

Royton Library has temporarily moved to Trinity Methodist Church on Radcliffe Street while the refurbishment is underway. Works are scheduled to complete next spring. 

Plans for the redevelopment have been developed by architects Kepczyk Pearce Sanderson.