DISCUSSIONS are under way to look at whether Whitefield Library could become a community hub used by school pupils and residents.

Negotiations are taking place between Bury Council and Elms Bank Specialist Arts College.

Whitefield Library and Adult Learning Centre was one of 10 libraries across Bury that were shut in a bid to save money.

But there is a glimmer of hope that the Whitefield Library site could be reopened to provide a range of services for all ages and abilities.

Elaine Parkinson, executive headteacher at Elms Bank, revealed plans to locate part of the college provision on the Whitefield Library site.

She said: "This is because we are in need of additional space due to our increase in numbers. The college students will then run the community hub as part of their curriculum. This means they will be applying their learning in a real life situation.

"We are really pleased that we were successful in our bid."

In January, an agreement was made for Elms Bank School to use the former Unsworth Library, in Sunny Bank Road, as a community hub and to re-engage young teenagers into learning.

Mrs Parkinson said a meeting would be held at the Unsworth Library in April and advertised locally.

The community hubs would allow for a community library to be run as well as a café and gift shop.

Cllr John Mallon, who represents Pilkington Park ward, said: “It is vitally important that we maintain this community building in Whitefield on the library site.

“The school would like to create opportunities for its students.

“This could provide us with a real win-win solution for the Whitefield site and it is clear I will be supporting the negotiations between Bury Council and Elms Bank following an initial meeting I set up in February.”

A council spokesman said: "We are keen to see the former Whitefield Library site play an important role in meeting the council’s key priorities, among which is providing our young people with the best possible opportunities.

" As such, we have been having discussions with Elms Bank and the Whitefield Business Group in relation to how we can use the building as a community asset to meet the needs of local children and provide a broader economic benefit to the local economy.”