A CALM and tranquil oasis is set to be created in Leigh as work rapidly progresses on a new book shop and coffee bar in an old bank.

Owned by Manuel Scettri, 48, the “calm and peaceful” Read on Sea, at 28 Broadway, is set to be filled to the brim with books ready to be discovered by residents.

It will also boast plenty of seating areas for people to enjoy an ice-cold alcoholic beverage or a warm, silky coffee.

As work progresses to refurbish part of the former HSBC bank, which closed in 2020, Manuel is hoping to be open “towards the end of the month or in early December”. 

Echo: Inside - Read on SeaInside - Read on Sea (Image: Newsquest)

Manuel said: “I love book shops, and I love places that are full of independent shops, so Leigh Broadway was the perfect place for my new store.

“The Broadway is great, it’s full of excellent restaurants, bars and coffee shops, but what it’s really lacks in are book shops and somewhere people can drink alcohol in a quiet place.

“So, I thought to myself: ‘Let’s combine the two – a book shop mixed with a bar space.’

“Work on the project started four weeks ago, and as most of the heavy work is done, such as installing the bookshelves and bar top, I’m hoping it can open towards the end of the month or early December.”

The last bookshop in the Broadway was Grindley’s Bookshop, which was established in 1945 and closed 2008 as the face of Leigh changed with coffee shops, cafes, bars and restaurants

Echo: Old bookshop - Grindley'sOld bookshop - Grindley's (Image: Newsquest)

At Read on Sea, residents will be met with turquoise-coloured oak shelves lining each side of the property, a huge bar space sitting opposite the main entrance, and a children’s area at the back of the venue.

Echo: Inside - the bar spaceInside - the bar space (Image: Newsquest)

Once open, the plan is also to work with schools in the area and host events.

He added: “We’re planning on hosting short story competitions and host monthly movie nights, which will either be storybook-related or non-storybook related.

“I really can’t wait to get the place open.”