HOPES have been raised that Lyndhurst library will be able to reopen as an independent, community-run facility after it secured a £10,000 grant from Hampshire County Council.
The branch was among those shut by HCC last year to make £1.76m of savings, which also included closing Blackfield and withdrawal of support for Milford’s existing community library.
The one-off grant will go to Lyndhurst Community Centre to help it set up the new, volunteer-run service, after the branch ceased on 7th November. The plan is to reopen later this year once helpers have been trained.
Rob Dewing, chair of the centre’s trustees, said: “Our new library will be part of a bigger project that will also create a new high-tech conference room and a permanent office for Lyndhurst Parish Council.
“Lyndhurst Community Centre is grateful to Hampshire County Council for its contribution towards the costs of opening the new library.
“We are also grateful to Lyndhurst Parish Council, with whom we are working in close partnership to deliver these new facilities for the Lyndhurst community.”
HCC said it will also grant access to the Library Service Group Membership Scheme to refresh books and reserve specific titles from the Hampshire library collection, including Ready Reads. HCC officers will also be on hand to give advice for the first year.
The grant was signed off by Cllr Stephen Reid, a member of HCC’s ruling Conservative cabinet.
He said: “The county council is very pleased to be able to offer Lyndhurst Community Centre a one-off grant of £10,000 to help fund the start-up and transition costs for Lyndhurst’s independent community library.
“Lyndhurst Community Centre will be providing a valued service to the local community and the county council wishes them the greatest success as their plans for the independent community library move forward.”
As reported in the A&T, as well as the closures there was also a 20% reduction in opening hours at the remaining libraries.
For more information, visit the community centre’s website at lyndhurstcomm.org