THE opening hours at Blackburn’s Central Library are to be reduced.

The loss of four hours a week is being blamed on government grant cuts to Blackburn with Darwen Council.

It will now close at 5pm on Wednesday evening as opposed to 7pm.

On Saturday’s it will shut at 2pm finish instead of 4pm .

Martin Eden, the council's director of environment and leisure, said: “Due to the continued savings the council has to make in the light of government’s austerity programme we are having to look at how best to serve library users with a reduced budget.

“We have done our best to minimise the impact with these changes and have taken into consideration many factors including user numbers and discussions with local partners.

“To ensure as many people as possible are able to visit the library the number of days that we are open remains unchanged.

"We have tried to make people aware of the changes through social media, posters in the library and issuing bookmarks with the new opening times.”

Between 2013 and 2015 the Central Library’s Town Hall Street underwent a £2million renovation of its exterior to its original 1930’s state.

For 40 years the building was home to Blackburn’s premier department store, the Co-op Emporium that sold everything from groceries to footwear and furnishings.