“We have listened to your concerns about a new library for Little Lever and have agreed with you it should be a new build, not a refurb,” said Council Leader Linda Thomas. 

She added: “I am looking forward to sharing plans with the public for this much-needed facility.”

Cllr Evans said told The Bolton News he was delighted with the news — which still has to be signed off by the cabinet — adding that it was his “preferred option”.

He said: “When you are in the building game, if you start with a blank piece of paper you can bespoke it to whatever you want. In the end that made far more sense, subject to finances.”

He said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Rather than putting a sticking plaster on something, you’ve got the opportunity to build something more sustainable that would benefit the community in a better way.”

Referring to the challenge facing those working on the plans, he said: “They had a cube and were stuck to that design trying to make the best of a bad job. When you take a step back it makes far more sense to, rather than refurb, rebuild — it gives us far more scope.”

He added that building from scratch would be more costly than converting the former store but “not by an alarming amount” adding that a series of patch-ups would be more expensive in the long run.”

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