New Bridgeton Library Opens
A brand new, state of the art library opened in Bridgeton’s Olympia building on Monday 3 December. As well as an extensive range of books, newspapers and magazines, the library has 32 PC’s, online learning, a community room and will deliver computer courses, reader development programmes and a Children’s Area.
The library is the first part of the Olympia Building, which has undergone a £10million refurbishment to open to the public. A new boxing gym will be in full use by Amateur Boxing Scotland early next year and office space on the top floor is also available.
The Olympia first opened to the public in 1911 as a Variety Theatre before becoming well known as a cinema and in later life a bingo hall before it closed in the 1990’s. It was bought by Clyde Gateway in 2009 in response to public demand and the refurbishment started in 2011 and was completed in October 2012. One of the key landmarks of the project was in February 2012 when the dome which had been fully restored was lifted back into place.
As well as the more usual facilities, the new library offers an enhanced business resource for Glasgow firms and also offers access to a rich collection of local and family history resources.
Councillor Archie Graham, Chair of Glasgow Life said: “Libraries are at the very heart of our communities throughout Glasgow and the new Bridgeton Library will deliver more services for and on behalf of local people than ever before. New life has been breathed into the Olympia which has recovered all of its former glory and the new library will ensure it will play a vital role in the life of Bridgeton for generations to come.”
Councillor George Redmond, the Vice-Chair of Clyde Gateway said "The opening of the library is the latest chapter in what is becoming a thrilling story associated with the regeneration of the Bridgeton and Dalmarnock communities. There is an incredible transformation underway across the whole area but I've no doubt this £10m investment to bring the Olympia back into use is the one that has got local people most excited. This fantastic new library really does have the best of everything and I have no doubt it is going to be very popular with residents of all ages".
Grace Donald, an 87 year-old lifelong resident of Bridgeton said "The Olympia has always been very special to me and I spent many a happy time there on nights out at the cinema with my husband and my children. I was really upset when it closed its doors all those years ago as it was a really lowpoint in Bridgeton's history. I never dreamed that I'd ever get back inside the building and it's a big thrill to see what Clyde Gateway and Glasgow Life have done. I've lived here all my life and I know that Bridgeton Cross has never looked better.