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Former library set to become homes

The old Marton Branch Library in Waterloo Road, Blackpool.

The old Marton Branch Library in Waterloo Road, Blackpool.

  • by Katie Upton
 

A ONCE popular community library is set to become homes after becoming an eyesore over nearly a decade.

Marton Library is being given a new lease of life after developers moved in to invest £300,000 in the plot of land on Waterloo Road, South Shore.

And they are hoping to get the backing of Blackpool Council’s civic trust as they preserve some of the original features in the 2,500 sq ft building.

Cleopatra Investment Group, owned by Sam Elazm, is behind the project, under conditions from Blackpool Council’s planning department that the building retains some of its original architectural features and merits.

And Mr Elazm told The Gazette: “We’re approaching the civic trust to guide us through the project and in regards to requirements to get a civic trust award.

“We want to preserve some of the features, internally and externally, it’s basically been untouched since the 1930s.

“The building’s got a lot to give so we’re going to be sympathetic when converting it.”

Residents put up strong opposition when the library was earmarked for closure 10 years ago. It was then controversially sold at auction for £121,000 following its closure in 2004.

The developer is spending £150,000 creating two family homes and three flats, hoping it will play a part in regenerating the area where a number of commercial properties have been left boarded up in recent months.

Mr Elazm, who lives in Lytham, added: “We’ve had people passing saying it’s the best thing to happen and wishing us good luck.

“This is an attractive area, close to town, the motorway, Stanley Park and Victoria Hospital and near to good schools and amenities.

“Hopefully people will move in and invest in the area, it’s a good location, there’s no reason it should be in decline.”

Mr Elazm hopes to have the properties on the market by late autumn.

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