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Clayton-le-Moors library service could be open by February

A new independent library will be established at the Arthur Wilson Centre

The Arthur Wilson centre in Clayton-le-Moors, and right, celebrations outside Oswaldtwistle library

A new library service in Clayton-le-Moors could be open by February next year, campaigners hope.

It has been agreed that an independent community library can be established by Mercer House 1842 at the Arthur Wilson Centre in Clayton-le-Moors using the book stock and resources from the former Clayton-le-Moors library - which will remain shut.

Nick Collingridge, chairman of the Mercer House board, said the proposal by Lancashire County Council to establish an independent library in the Arthur Wilson Centre, which is not a county council building, has now been approved by the board.

(Image: UGC MEN)

He said: “We are in agreement that we are going to do this library facility in the back room which will be run by volunteers.

“If everything goes to plan it should be up and running by February.

Looking back at food and festivals in the mid-2000s

“It will have a small book lending facility plus audio facility for books, and we’ll also have IT facilities, but it won’t be on a drop-in basis. People will have to book a session because we won’t have as many machines.

“It would not have been possible to keep the library in the Civic, the running costs are horrendous.

(Image: UGC MEN)

“This is really the best compromise we can do to keep a library service in Clayton with the resources we have.”

Setting up the new independent library is estimated to cost in the region of £6,000-7,000.

Mr Collingridge added: “We’re giving it a go, we don’t know if it’s going to come off but hopefully Clayton will get a facility that goes some way to filling the gap and giving people what they want.

“And we’re actively encouraging other groups that were in the library to come and talk to us to help fill the place and add to what’s already there.”

A number of groups, including the Knit and Natter group, have already begun using the centre since Clayton-le-Moors Library closed.

Tributes paid to former Observer photographer Garth Dawson

Lancashire County Council (LCC) has approved a community asset transfer for the Lamp group to take over the Oswaldtwistle Library building, on Union Road, and agreed that an independent library can be established in Clayton-le-Moors.

Councillor Peter Britcliffe said: “I am delighted that the bid to run Oswaldtwistle library by our local community group is going forward.

“The chairman of the group and his colleagues have worked so hard for this and deserve our heartfelt congratulations.

“Now it is up to the townsfolk to get behind them, to volunteer and make sure we have a wonderful Community Library in Oswaldtwistle. Well done to all.”

LCC also say a business proposal for Rishton library - which is also under threat of permanent closure - is still being considered and assessed to get the level of detail they need to make a final decision regarding its future.

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