A library which has been taken into community hands needs £1,200 a month to stay open, it’s been revealed.
Oswaldtwistle library, which has been closed since September 2016, is set to reopen later this spring if the finances are put in place.
The Oswaldtwistle LAMP Community Group was formed in May last year after Lancashire County Council (LCC) announced plans to shut the 101-year-old facility and a community asset transfer to LAMP was confirmed last November.
Chris Brindle, chairperson of LAMP, said they are hopeful of reopening the library in the next three months and are now in talks with a number of organisations to secure funding.
Speaking at a recent area forum meeting, Chris said: “We estimate that we need £1,200 a month to keep the library open. It’s not a massive amount of money if you break it down but if we haven’t got it then you haven’t got it.
“We are enthusiastic about it but we have to make sure that it’s financially viable for the future otherwise it’s pointless taking it on if
12 months down the line we are going to run out of cash.
“I would say that we are in the middle of the journey. We have got three months minimum to go but we are there.
“The hard work has been done and the decision has been made. Every single penny we generate in the library will be used in the library. Nobody is taking a single penny out of it.
“We want to make it an attractive and well-used facility.”
The Architectural Heritage Fund has already awarded £5,000 to carry out a feasibility study and a £5,000 start-up grant
has also been provided by the county council, with the promise of £3,000
over the next three years for IT equipment, licences and software.
Chris said there are an estimated 6,000 books still inside the library, which will help them start off, and that they are looking to replenish the stock and redecorate the building.
He also praised the Accrington Observer for ‘absolutely brilliant’ support through their campaign.
He said: “LCC were very aware of public opinion. The press have been absolutely brilliant.
“They have all been on board with us from the beginning and I think that really helped to contribute to our case.”
Under the terms of the community asset transfer the building will be leased to LAMP, but remain owned by county hall.