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Volunteers take over Burton Bradstock library
VOLUNTEERS have open-ed a new chapter in the history of Burton Bradstock library.
Keys to the library have been handed over to the parish council and the community by the county council.
It is the first of eight libraries taken on by communities after they were earmarked for closure by Dorset County Council.
The library building lease is now held by Burton Bradstock Parish Council, which has sub-let it to the Friends of Burton Bradstock Library.
The council will be working closely with the friends who will manage and maintain the building. There are plans to transfer the running of the library service in the next few months.
The friends in Burton Bradstock already support the library by providing volunteers to run the service six hours per week, allowing the library to open two hours per day, six days per week.
Under the new arrangements the friends will be responsible for operating the full service.
Bob Hynds, chairman of the Friends of Burton Bradstock Library (FBBL) trustees, said: “We have had, from the start of the negotiations with Dorset County Council in 2007, two aims.
“One was to save the Burton Bradstock library from closure, the second was to obtain the library building for community use outside of library hours.
“The fact that we have achieved both aims is due to the constant encouragement, engagement and financial support from the membership of the friends.
“We have also worked closely with the Burton Bradstock Parish Council in dealing with the complicated legal arrangements needed to achieve our aims.
“We thank them for their support and sharing in the project.
“FBBL now look forward to maintaining the Burton Bradstock library service and developing the library building as a community resource.”
The county council entered discussions when it invited communities to take responsibility for nine libraries.
Eight of the libraries have been taken on by communities and will open their doors this autumn.
The others are Charmouth, Chick-erell, Colehill, Corfe Castle, Puddletown, Stalbridge and Wool.
Graham Moody, chairman of Burton Bradstock Parish Council, said: “The parish council is pleased that working together with the Friends of Burton Bradstock Library and the county council has led to a successful conclusion.”