Mayor Billy Sheerin officially reopens Carnegie building

Date published: 24 May 2019

The former Carnegie Library in Castleton was officially re-opened by Mayor Billy Sheerin in a special ceremony on Thursday (23 May), as his first official engagement as the Mayor of Rochdale.

Mayor Sheerin was joined by his wife, Mayoress Lynn Sheerin, MP Liz McInnes, local residents and new tenants of the building in declaring the Carnegie back in use after it was refurbished by Crewe Industrial.

The iconic building – which has been described as the most prestigious building in Castleton – is now occupied by law firm Firth’s Law, and virtual reality centre, Alternate States, whilst the old ground floor reading room has been let to the Friends of Carnegie (Castleton) group, for a local heritage and history centre.


Mayor Billy Sheerin and Mayoress Lynn Sheerin opened the Carnegie Building
Mayor Billy Sheerin and Mayoress Lynn Sheerin opened the Carnegie Building


Mayor Sheerin said: “I was given the privilege to reopen the building after refurbishment, which gave me the greatest pleasure and delight as part of the group which has been fighting to save this wonderful building.

“Nick [Crewe] has done an amazing job: he really has been a knight in shining armour in saving and restoring the Carnegie to its former glory.

“I’ve always said the regeneration of Castleton will start when the Carnegie building was brought back to life, and it has. There is a new feeling in the village.

“I was so proud to be part of saving it, and then to be the one to reopen it and cut the ribbon. It was a very emotive day for me.

“The building is absolutely stunning inside; Nick has delivered on the promises he made and now the people of Castleton will benefit from this piece of our heritage being saved.”


Mayor Billy Sheerin and MP Liz McInnes wave from the Carnegie Building
Mayor Billy Sheerin, Nick Crewe (left) and MP Liz McInnes wave from the Carnegie Building


Local businessman Nick Crewe, who refurbished the building, said: “We’d like to thank the new mayor and mayoress for attending and officially re-opening the Carnegie building, along with our local MP, Liz McInnes, the residents of Castleton and the new tenants of the building, who will be its occupants going forward, helping to create a new chapter in the building’s history.

“It’s been a long journey, not without a few hurdles to overcome, but I hope everyone agrees it’s been well worth it. I’d like to take this chance to thank everyone for their kind words and support.”


The stone at the Carnegie Building declaring the opening by Mayor Sheerin


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 the extensive refurbishment breathed new life into it.

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