Plans to use two-thirds of Bury Library as a new £100,000 sculpture centre have come under fire.

Bury Council has unveiled proposals for the centre, which bosses say will be placed in the Bury Library, Museum and Art Gallery complex to help attract visitors and investment. It is set to open in May 2014.

However one regular library visitor described the proposals as “ridiculous”, and said it would have a detrimental impact on library services.

The plans come after the council’s recent Library Review, where proposals to move libraries into ‘community hubs’ were shelved after they were judged to be no longer cost effective, and the budget shortfall would instead be met by job losses.

The new development requires a one-off capital investment from the council of £75,000, and has attracted a successful funding bid from Arts Council England of £27,000.

The library user claimed the plans would mean the library would be “crammed” into the remaining third of the building.

A public consultation into libraries was held earlier this year, and the man, who has been using the library for 20 years, said he would not have supported it if this proposal was included.

He said: “The people of Bury will suffer because of this and no amount of sculptures will help. I am all for the arts but this is the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time.

“As a resident of Bury I feel cheated in not being asked about this.

“I made my feelings known in the consultation period but this new development is exactly the opposite of what is needed.”

Cllr Jane Lewis, cabinet member for leisure, tourism and culture, said that the ground floor layout of the library would be altered, but that no library services would be withdrawn.

She said: “We looked at a range of possible partners, but the co-location of the art gallery and museum service with the library is the natural fit and clearly offers economic benefits in attracting and expanding visitor spend to the town centre and opens up further opportunities for external funding.”

The man said the library had helped him to learn how to use a computer and research his family history.