Council bosses are investing £10,000 in a community study to explore the options for saving under-threat library facilities.
Two one-off grants have been approved by Hyndburn council to look into how best to save Rishton library and secure the long term future of the library and civic hall in Clayton-le-Moors.
Both buildings were earmarked for closure by Lancashire County Council (LCC) as part of plans to shut 54 libraries and children’s centres.
Rishton library campaigners have been granted £5,000 to work with community group Mercer House 1842 to look at the feasibility of keeping Rishton library open.
Another £5,000 has also been approved towards options for preserving the long-term future of the Clayton-le-Moors civic hall – without county hall involvement.
Rishton library campaigner Emma Clark said they hope to keep the library open permanently, but failing that, seeking to find a way to retain the library service and the building for the community.
Emma said: “We really feel our village is shining and pulling together to fight this. We hope our community will continue to mobilise in the face of adversity and helps us to realise a solution that will keep the building open.”
The Copperhouse Children’s Centre has been identified by LCC to become a new ‘neighbourhood centre’ for Rishton which will deliver library satellite and wellbeing services. However, campaigners believe these services could be better delivered from the library.
Key stakeholders in both Rishton and Clayton – including councillors, headteachers, and community organisations –will be interviewed as part of the process.
Hyndburn council leader Miles Parkinson said: “We’re working with Mercer House and campaigners to make sure this funding will help make a sustainable business plan for the long term future of the civic hall in Clayton-le-Moors for the community, and for keeping Rishton library open.”
The county council consultation will close on August 14, with a final decision in October.
Motions deploring proposed library closures were due to be debated by Hyndburn’s full council on Thursday, July 7.
To take part in the survey visit lancashire.gov.uk/council/get-involved/consultations/changes-to-where-we-provide-services.