BLACKBURN Central Library’s main entrance has closed in the latest stage of its £2 million facelift.

Yesterday the Town Hall Street entrance shut and all access transferred to the building’s Northgate entrance.

Earlier this year work began to restore the historic building to its 1920s glory.

The work, which involves removing existing concrete cladding, will also ensure the building exterior is safe as loose and potentially dangerous brickworkis replaced.

The cladding was added to the landmark building in 1975 to update it for use as the new library.

Before 1975, the building was home to Blackburn’s premier department store, the Co-op Emporium that sold everything from groceries to footwear and furnishings.

The Emporium was opened in 1930 after four local Co-ops merged in 1920.

When the department store moved into Ainsworth Street in 1970, the new library moved in.

Architects added the cladding so that only the ornamental details and long square windows were left on show.

Council leisure director Martin Eden said: “It's tremendous to have the opportunity to bring it back to its original glory.”