People who use Bradford’s Central Library remain hopeful the facility will eventually reopen by the end of the year, despite asbestos being discovered during construction work.

The Friends of Bradford Archives and Local Studies Group (FOBALS) created after the library closed in October, 2011, said members of the group had been kept fully informed and felt confident the purpose-built building would eventually reopen its doors.

The group, which represents all the major local history societies, said Bradford Council had told group members about the asbestos, but they felt reassured that the building work was being done properly.

The Telegraph & Argus exclusively reported yesterday that substantial and previously unknown construction concerns had arisen, with asbestos discovered in the heating, ventilation and electrical system which will need total replacement – as will the wiring system, and circuit protection plus all the lighting.

A full report listing the options will go to the Full Council Executive in the next few weeks.

It means the library will not now reopen in May as first thought. The mobile library is in Centenary Square, but it is not known whether it will remain there.

Dr Christine Alvin, the chairman of FOBALs, said the delays were unfortunate but unavoidable.

“We appreciate that the work has to be done to get the building done properly,” she said.

“Even if that means a longer delay, it needs to be done.

“I am sure it will reopen because it is a purpose-built library building. But it has just got a lot of problems at the moment that need seeing to. I am hoping we go back in there because there is not really an alternative.

“We are just sort of hoping to get back in there by the end of the year.”

Dr Alvin said that some archives were available at Keighley, but not everyone could travel there.

The T&A had reported the initial problems faced by the Council when the library closed in 2011 to allow emergency work to be carried out on the central staircase to make it safe, because in its former state, it would act as a makeshift flue in the event of a blaze. There were fears it would cost £4 million to put it right but they were scaled back to £900,000.