THE former Runcorn Indoor Market which controversially closed last year will be turned into a new library and one-stop-shop.

The market was closed in January after council bosses said it was losing more than £100,000 a year. It had been home to a market since 1811.

Last Monday, planning permission was agreed for a new library and council services one-stop-shop to be built, designed by leading North West architectural practice Cassidy and Ashton.

Work on the £550,000 scheme will start in October, with completion scheduled for March 2012. The building will then be home both to Halton Library Services and Halton Direct Link, providing public access to the library’s lending and reference collections, computer facilities and a one-stop-shop for council services including payments, service requests and general enquiries.

Clr Phil Harris, Halton Borough Council's executive member for libraries, said: ''The new library will be more accessible in its new location and provide an improved service to library users.

“The council pledged a replacement library and we are now delivering it.”

Toby Southgate, from Cassidy and Ashton, added: “The old indoor market is a landmark building in Runcorn and it is very appropriate that it should be reinvented to provide valuable community services that are useful and accessible to all. “Our plans aim to maximise the existing features and aesthetic of the building while developing the space to create facilities appropriate to its new function.”