By Jacklin Kwan
SIGNIFICANT upgrades are being made to the area around Lees Library thanks to a boost of more than £23,000 from the Local Improvement Fund (LIF).
A successful application was submitted to Oldham Council at the end of 2019 by Saddleworth District Lead Councillor Stephen Hewitt and a team of helpers.
After multiple difficulties and delays due to Covid-19, work is finally going ahead through contractor Rowan Ashworth in line with pandemic restrictions.
Three Emerald Queen trees are being planted to provide a canopy near the library that help to manage surface water run-off and improve the area’s biodiversity.
New benches and other street furniture will also be positioned around Lees Library to reduce clutter and improve the flow of pedestrians near the space.
Other improvements will include replacing broken paving, removing damaged or old furniture, and refreshing the planting near the car park to boost the streetscape.
Cllr Hewitt said these upgrades are “a start towards creating a more pleasant and useable space which will hopefully lead to future opportunities for investment.”
The project hopes to benefit residents, businesses and library users who may experience a more welcoming public space, encourage more footfall for local shops, and enable the area to have pop-up activities, markets and more.
The LSG Business Hub, which was involved with the application, welcomed the start of the work and hopes other areas will also benefit from the fund.