Increase in council tax
saves village library

Protesters fighting the closure of Silverdale library
Protesters fighting the closure of Silverdale library
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Silverdale Library is set to 
re-open in “two to three months” after it was saved from permanent closure.

Lancashire County Council has now transferred ownership of the building to Silverdale Parish Council, which is working to get the library back up and running.

The library in Emesgate Lane closed on December 30 as part of cost cutting measures.

Silverdale Parish Council vice-chairman John Bennett said more than 30 people are now involved in getting the library back open.

He said: “It’s quite a challenge for communities to do this but Silverdale made the decision that rather than volunteers having to cover the basic costs through fundraising, we would raise the parish precept so that each home in the village will give a contribution towards the running of the library, which works out at around £8 each a year.

“Improvements to the library will come from fundraising activities like coffee mornings.”

“The library book stock will be transferred to us, but the management system won’t.

“An advisor has been appointed for two years to help with library transitions in the county, and there’s a £5,000 start up grant available, as well as a contribution of £1,000 towards IT costs.”

Mr Bennett said people had become more engaged in the future of the library, and that the primary school had set up a Children’s Library Committee to influence future provision. He added: “There are a lot of people engaged and involved now. There’s work to do but we hope to re-open it in two to three months.”

The parish council is now in the process of setting up a Community Interest Company to be staffed by volunteers to develop a community library with internet access, and spaces for educational activities and for local groups to use.