Carnegie building to be officially re-opened on 23 May

Date published: 15 May 2019

The Carnegie building in Castleton will be officially re-opened by the new Mayor in his first official engagement on Thursday 23 May.

The former Carnegie Library will be opened by current deputy Mayor, Councillor Billy Sheerin, in a special ceremony the day after he is sworn in as Mayor of Rochdale, replacing Councillor Mohammed Zaman.

Refreshments will be served with the event taking place between 11.30am and 2pm.

The once-popular Manchester Road library, constructed with Accrington brick and Staffordshire roof tiles to a design by Jesse Horsfall, was first opened back in 1905 after the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated £2,500 for it to be built.

It became unoccupied in 2006 after the library was moved to Castleton Community Centre, lying derelict for a decade before an extensive refurbishment by local businessman, Nick Crewe, breathed new life into it.

Gary Ellis, a director at Crewe Industrial, said: “We’ve held off until Billy is made Mayor as we know how much the building means to him, and how instrumental he was in getting us involved in the project.

“Anyone who wants to come along is welcome to.”

The Friends of Carnegie (Castleton) have campaigned for several years to save this iconic building – which has been described as the most prestigious building in Castleton – and return it to good use. 

The building is now occupied by a law firm, Firth’s Law, and virtual reality centre, Alternate States, whilst the old ground floor reading room has been let to the Friends group, for a local heritage and history centre.

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