Clifford Whitworth library development project

We’re taking a break to get back to the day job

We’ve embarked on an exciting project to refurbish the main university library over an eighteen month period.

We’ve already completed the first phase, with our first and second floors completely transformed, and your response has been great.

Now we’re taking a break to concentrate on supporting you during the busiest time of the academic year. The second phase kicks off in June 2017, will cover the ground floor and first floor pc suite, and will complete in January 2018.

These pages tell you a bit more about the project and how it might affect you during the second phase. You can also keep up to date via our blog and if you have any queries please email:


The theme of the refurbishment is “the library in the park” celebrating the fact that Clifford Whitworth library overlooks the historic Peel Park – the first municipal park in the UK - which opened to the public 170 years ago this summer. There will be elements within the design and artwork which draw upon this theme.

There will be much more variety in the type of spaces available to study within the library – we’ve tried to put what you’ve told us about the way you want to learn at the heart of the plans.

  • The ground floor will be opened up to create a more welcoming entrance to the building.
  • We will increase the number of PCs in the building and locate them closer to the book stock.
  • We will put more power onto desktops so that you can plug in your mobile devices as you sit and study.
  • There will be an increase in study spaces to better accommodate the busy times of year.
  • There will be an increase in bookable group workrooms, and introduction of bookable individual study rooms.
  • The PGR study space will be moved to the second floor and as well as study areas will include a breakout area, a shared bookable meeting room, and a drinks making point.
  • We will put in new ceilings and lighting throughout, and rewire the entire building.
  • We will improve air handling and ventilation

Second floor

First floor

We talked to students and staff and looked at feedback that we'd had and identified the following areas as priorities:

  • Improve the layout of the books to open up the space
  • Enhance the look and feel of the upper floors of the building
  • Improve zoning so that the silent areas work better, and there is a more natural flow through the building
  • Improve wayfinding and signage throughout the building
  • Develop the facilities offered to postgraduate students
  • Increase power socket availability for mobile devices
  • Upgrade the lighting and ventilation
  • Create more bookable space, both for group work and individual study
  • Create spaces which are more flexible and diverse
  • Enable the relocation of Adelphi library to the Peel Park Campus

The really good news is that the Library should not be too noisy during the day as we are undertaking most of the work overnight but there will be some inconvenience whilst construction work takes place, and areas of the library are closed off. Additionally access to some of the stock may be compromised as it is packed up and housed in alternative locations.

As we develop our planning for the next phase we’ll talk to you to make sure we’re putting the right things in place to help you through any disruption, and update these pages with further details.

The library gets very busy at certain times of the year so we’re going to be phasing the work to try to avoid disruption during key times, such as exams.


Phase 1: June 2016 – December 2016 - NOW COMPLETED

This will include the redevelopment of the whole of the second floor, plus the extension, and part of the first floor.

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Phase 2: June 2017 – December 2017

This will include the redevelopment of the PC suite on the first floor, plus the whole of the ground floor.

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