UP to £2million could be spent on repairing or replacing the crumbling front of Blackburn central library because of fears a chunk of masonry may come off and injure a passer-by.
Traders and a senior Tory councillor want urgent action before someone is seriously injured by the fall out from the “concrete cancer” eating away the facade of the landmark building.
All 29 of its wedge-shaped pillars have been hit by corrosion, and fracturing of the concrete cladding on the two frontages in Town Hall Road and Northgate.
The panels starting flaking a year ago and according to Nigel Womack. who owns the hairdressing salon opposite, workmen have been chipping off chunks since then.
He and former Blackburn Tory Council Leader Colin Rigby fear a pedestrian I could be seriously injured if work is not undertaken.
Both want the authority’s Executive Board tonight to approve a full restoration of the library facade at a cost of up to £2 million to remove the risk and restore the “real mess” to its former glory.
Officers recommend the council’s cabinet agree the “full restoration of the facade of the building to its original 1920’s appearance to enable it to become a landmark for the town centre”.
A council spokesperson said £1 million had been set aside in the capital budget but it is understood that the costs estimates range from £500,000 for repair and renewal to £2 million for full restoration of the facade.
Mr Womack, who owns Nigel’s Cutting Salon, said: “It looks a real mess.
“The concrete starting flaking and chunks falling off more than a year ago.”