Burton Bradstock library services handed over to community group
A community group in Burton Bradstock will run the local library that was threatened by closure.
Burton Bradstock Library will be run by The Friends of Burton Bradstock Library (FBBL) and Burton Bradstock Parish Council.
Following public consultations by Dorset County Council, local communities were invited to come forward and take over responsibility for nine libraries including Burton Bradstock. The Parish Council will be working closely will the FBBL - who will manage and maintain the building.
The FBBL already allow library services to run for six hours per week - two hours a day, Monday to Saturday.
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Professor Bob Hynds, chairman of The Friends of Burton Bradstock Library 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 Friends. We have also worked closely with the Burton Bradstock Parish Council in dealing with the complicated legal arrangements needed to achieve our aims, and we thank them for their support and sharing the project.
"FBBL now look forward to maintaining the Burton Bradstock library service and developing the library building as a community resource."
Eight libraries will be transferred to community groups - allowing Dorset County Council to save approximately £100,000 of the £800,000 the council needs to cut by the end of the year.
The other libraries, which are due to be transferred this year include Corfe Castle, Wool, Stalbridge, Chickerell and Puddletown. Portland Underhill Library closed earlier this year after no volunteers came forward.
Cllr Hillary Cox, Cabinet Member for Community Services at Dorset County Council, said: "After more than four years of hard work and discussions, the community has finally taken over the lease of the building.
"The approach we have taken will help us maintain a strong service, providing a good spread of libraries across the county with mobile libraries to continue serving isolated rural areas.
"We are of course delighted that all but one of the libraries that may have closed will now remain open and being run by their local community, will offer more for their community."