Radcliffe’s historic library is set to be transformed into an "enterprise centre" for start-ups, small businesses, freelancers, and entrepreneurs.

Plans lodged with Bury Council this week for the "Carnegie" status library building, reveal how the space is to be used is planning permission is granted.

The future library service is set to be based at the Radcliffe Hub building which will be built nearby, next to the current market hall.

A design and access statement in support of the plans said: “The majority of the available space on both the ground and first floor will be dedicated to smaller four to six person rent-able offices, as they are in high demand in other schemes of this size and area.

“There has been requests for a number of hotdesking areas for more flexible or part time users of the proposed project.

“Members of the local community with limited IT access will also be able to use the hotdesking facilities.

“However, the requirement for these spaces are in less demand compared to the requirement for meeting rooms and office space.

“There is also demand for co-working spaces and breakout spaces.”


How the site could look under the plans

How the site could look under the plans


The current library was built originally on the site of the first Bridge Wesleyan Chapel. The library was granted funding by the Carnegie UK Trust of £5,000 and opened in 1907.

Bury Times: Radcliffe LibraryRadcliffe Library (Image: LDRS)

Since opening there has been a significant extension to the ground floor footprint. Planning documents said The Radcliffe Enterprise will be similar to the FireUp centre in Rochdale which was created in a 1930s art deco former fire station.

The report said: “FireUp offers an affordable co-working space for emerging and small scale ventures, fostering a collaborative environment.

“This space is purposefully designed to encourage collaboration and co-working.

“Users at FireUp benefit from access to business support services facilitated by the Rochdale Borough Council.”


How the site could look under the plans

How the site could look under the plans


The report adds that "both projects involve retrofitting and re-purposing historically significant buildings".

The plans also stress the need for a continuous library service to be retained while conversion of the library building and construction work on the new hub happens.

The report said: “An important function for Radcliffe’s Enterprise Centre is to retain it’s use as a library to the public while the new library is under construction.

“Despite the current library not being listed it does have Carnegie status which requires a level of public access must be retained.” Planners in Bury will consider the plans in the coming weeks.