Pershore's new library has just opened following a £500,000 refurbishment project by Pershore Town Council.
The project started when Worcestershire County Council suggested moving Pershore Library to a new location to save money.
Instead the community in Pershore launched a campaign to keep the service in its existing location. This campaign included surveys, a newsletter, public meeting and a petition, with the overwhelming majority wanting the library to stay where it was.
Pershore Town Council then worked with the Council and the local community to create a vision for the future of the library which has now opened its doors to the public.
The new-look building on Church Street has been transformed into a library fit for the next generation and includes a new meeting room, areas for younger children and teenagers, a new staff room and toilets as well as separate work and reading rooms.
The Town Council bought the library building from the Council for £200,000 in August 2012 and drew up plans for a £500,000 refurbishment and extensions including extending its use by sharing services with the town's visitor information centre moving into the library building from the Town Hall.
Pershore Town Council paid for the scheme through its own budget and a low interest rate loan. They will also receive £10,000 a year rent from the County Council plus rates for an initial five-year period with the County Council still providing the library service.
Residents agreed to pay an extra five per cent on their parish precept, showing how important the library was for them.
Pershore Town Council then worked with the Council and the local community to create a vision for the future of the library.
Pershore gains a new community facility and kept library where residents wanted it.
Worcestershire County Council makes on-going budget savings as part of its drive to save £1.8million across the whole Libraries and Learning service.
Library manager Emma Powell said the new-look library had been a success during its first few days.:
"We're absolutely delighted to be open again and the first few days have been a huge success – we've been really busy," she added.
Ann Dobbins, Town Clerk of Pershore Town Council, said:
"This is a real example of listening to and empowering a community and shows communities do know what they want."
Cllr John Campion, former Worcestershire County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Localism and Communities, said:
"This is further evidence of the council's approach and of how by working closely with partner organisations you can achieve really great results and make a positive difference. I commend the Town Council for all their hard work to get to where we are today and wish them every success."
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