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Friends of Charmouth Library celebrate grant success
FRIENDS of Charmouth Library are this week celebrating more grant success as work to transform the building is forging ahead.
The volunteer group has been awarded just over £4,200 from West Dorset District Council’s Leisure Development Fund.
The grant will pay for floor covering and furniture in the new Charmouth Central when it re-opens under volunteer control in late February.
Hazel Robinson, chairman of the Friends of Charmouth Library, said: “We needed non-slip covering for the extension and chairs, tables and soft furnishings for the existing library and extension.
“This contribution will ensure that the current library and the extension to be built in spring can be used in comfort by many more residents and tourists, not just as a library but as a drop-in centre.
“Friends of Charmouth Library had already secured a grant from the Big Lottery Fund (Village SOS) for the construction of the extension but had been concerned that there would not be sufficient funds to finish the interior to a good standard.
“Now our worries about this are over.”
The extension, which is expected to be completed in August, will provide a kitchen to serve drinks and snacks, an internet cafe with WiFi access and a tourist information point.
An army of volunteers are currently transforming the existing library building ready for re-opening on Thursday, February 28, when the building will be officially handed over to Charmouth Central Ltd by Dorset County Council.
Preparation for the new central heating has begun and the volunteers are painting the walls this week.
“It’s already looking very different,” said Mrs Robinson.
“Our signage has been worked out so even the exterior of the building will look different.
“The roof repairs and insulation have been delayed because of the weather but should be starting soon.”
The community is invited to see the transformation on February 28 at 3.30pm, but Mrs Robinson said there would not be a big celebration.
She said: “We don’t feel that there’s anything to celebrate in being forced to take over the library.
“I asked volunteers’ opinions and they said they didn’t feel it was appropriate.
“When we open our extension we will celebrate but at present we are mourning that we are not part of the statutory library service anymore.
“But we still want everyone to come and see what we have done, even out of curiosity, and see where the money they have given us is going.”
From February 28 residents will be able to take books in and out as normal but work will be continuing on the extension.
The Friends will continue to fundraise to cover the ongoing running costs and the next event is an Auction of Promises at The George in Charmouth on March 2 from 7.30pm.
Catalogues are available from various village shops or at charmouthvillagelibrary.org.uk