Community given more time to secure future of Atherton building

Atherton Library
Atherton Library

Community groups looking to take over a former Wigan Borough library building have been given more time to submit formal plans to secure its future.

Atherton Centre has been advertised by Wigan Council as being available for a community asset transfer (CAT) since the start of last year.

Four requests for an extension have been granted in that time but the deadline passed earlier this month.

In light of the current situation the disposal of the building would not take place straight away and so lead members have listened to local ward members and have decided to offer a further four weeks.

Councillor Nazia Rehman, cabinet member for finance, resources and transformation, said: “The building needs significant investment to bring it back into viable use and it won’t be an easy task.

“We have worked with the community for a long time to explore the options of a CAT.

“We understand a new opportunity may have presented itself and therefore want to give the community time to explore that and submit a full business plan and detailed funding package.”

The usual time period offered for submission of business plans in the CAT process is three months.

The building has been vacant since Atherton Library moved into the refurbished Atherton Town Hall.

Coun Rehman added: “We know the community is keen to develop new facilities and we hope through this further opportunity a sustainable business case can be finalised that will secure the long-term future of the building.”