New volunteer-run library opens in Minchinhampton after county council withdrew funding

Author Katie Fforde says a few words before cutting the ribbon to officially open Minchinhampton Community Library

Henry Matcham, two, enjoying a book at Minchinhampton Community Library

First published in News Stroud News and Journal: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

BOOK lovers are celebrating after months of hard work ensured a happy ending to their campaign to save Minchinhampton library.

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the new volunteer-run Minchinhampton Community Library on Thursday, author Katie Fforde, who lives nearby, said she used to love bringing her children there when they were young.

A steering group formed a charitable company to manage, operate and maintain the community facility after Gloucestershire County Council announced it would be withdrawing funding from October 31.

Chris Stone, chairman of Minchinhampton Library Trust, said: "The support shown from the community and the volunteers is crucial. Without it the library would be closed, which would have been a sad loss for the town.

"Today marks a milestone for the library and I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to build the foundations of this important community facility.

"I hope the community will continue to support the library and tell us how we can change and shape it in order to make it strive."

The new library and associated services will be provided from the existing building in School Road and operated by volunteers.

Volunteer Jennifer Payne said: "I have lived in Minchinhampton for 19 years and I have been a library user all my life. I didn't want to see the loss of such a valuable facility.

"I thought this was a way I could give something back to the community in my retirement."

Anyone interested in volunteering should email enquiry@mclt.org.uk The library is open on Mondays from 2pm to 5pm and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 7pm.

It is also open on Fridays from 10am to 12.30pm and 2pm to 5pm and on Saturdays from 9.30am to noon.

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