THE closing date for ten of the borough’s libraries has been announced.

It comes after Bury Council chiefs announced the closure of the majority of the borough’s 14 libraries earlier this year in order to save money.

The libraries set to close are Ainsworth, Brandlesholme, Castle Leisure Centre, Coronation Road, Dumers Lane, Moorside, Topping Fold, Tottington, Unsworth and Whitefield.

They will shut for the final time on Wednesday, December 20.

Bury, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom and Prestwich libraries will remain open, but with reduced opening hours.

Prestwich Library will close on Saturdays from May, 2018.

Staff and members at the libraries were informed of the news last week.

In September, the council invited applications from groups wishing to take over the running of six of the sites: Coronation Road, Dumers Lane, Topping Fold, Tottington, Unsworth and Whitefield.

The council says it had received ‘a number’ of business plans by the November 17 deadline, which are now being considered.

A council spokesman said: “Successful groups will be contacted following the panel’s initial recommendations and be given the opportunity to develop their projects further with support from officers. The final decision will not be made until the cabinet meeting of January 31 with the official handover of the buildings following in early February.

“These six buildings will close as council libraries on December 20. While they will not officially reopen until the February handover, we will make arrangements for successful groups to have access to the buildings in order to support their projects and other community groups who may be continuing to use the buildings following handover.”

The council would not specify what would happen to books after the libraries have closed.

Friends of Tottington Library, which formed in February in a bid to save Tottington Library, are one of the groups which has submitted a business plan to the council to operate one of the sites.

The group say they are confident it will be approved and have been holding a number of fundraising events in order to cover the costs of running the building, estimated to be in excess of £22,000 per year.

Regarding the library’s closure, Tottington councillor Ian Gartside, who is a member of Friends of Tottington Library, said: “It’s a sad day for staff at the library and we are sorry it has come to this.

"We have worked hard for months fundraising and planning to ensure the library does not close and we are very determined to keep it open and attract more to use its facilities.”

Fellow Tottington councillor and group member, Yvonne Wright, said: “We are hoping for quick confirmation so volunteers can keep the library open without too much of a delay.

“We want to build on the success of the library and attract more groups to hire rooms and hold many more community events for all age groups to ensure the library continues to be well used and enjoyed by local residents.”

Details of the closures and change in opening times can be found at