Burton Bradstock Library handed to volunteer group

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A Dorset library that had been under threat of closure has been handed over to the local community.

Burton Bradstock Parish Council and the Friends of Burton Bradstock Library have taken over the lease for the building in the village.

Dorset County Council will hand over the running of the library to the group in the coming months.

In 2011, the Conservative-led county council voted to withdraw funding from nine libraries to save £800,000 a year.

Friends of Burton Bradstock Library volunteers already run the service six hours a week.

The library currently opens for two hours a day from Monday to Saturday.

'Constant encouragement'

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 the Friends."

Community services councillor Hilary Cox said: "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."

The transfer of the eight community libraries by Dorset County Council is expected to deliver £800,000 of savings needed by the end of 2012.

Under the new plans the council would provide £5,500 a year for staffing, books and IT services, with other costs covered by volunteers.

The other seven libraries due to transfer later this year include Charmouth, Chickerell, Colehill, Corfe Castle, Puddletown, Stalbridge and Wool.

Portland Underhill library closed in April after no volunteers came forward to run it.

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