Community's joy as library reopens

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Community leaders have called on people to get behind a friends group to keep the newly reopened Thornton Library vibrant.

Thornton and Hambleton County Councillor John Shedwick performed the official re-opening as a crowd of around 100, young and old, waited to get back inside the Victoria Road East building closed a year ago.

People of Thornton gathered for the reopening of their library

People of Thornton gathered for the reopening of their library

Then 26 of the county's 73 libraries were shut by the then Labour leadership group of Lancashire County Council as further central Government cuts hit the budget, but the new Conservative administration elected in May 2017, decided to re-open as many libraries as possible.

Coun Shedwick said the library was not just a place for books, but was an important social hub for the area.

"Having a library within easy reach allows everyone, whatever their circumstances, to be able to access information via the internet, browse and order from an enormous catalogue of books, and find out about local events and activities."

He added: “Around 80 years ago there was a gathering like this outside this library. That was for the opening of the building.

"We need to have a strong friends group to make sure that this library never ever closes again.”

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said the Conservative group’s reopening of 11 libraries showed that local elections were important.

He said: “The reopening is a tribute to all the local people who campaigned to get it open again, not just the politicians. Let’s hope it is as well used as it always has been.”

Coun Andrea Kay who was part of the campaign said: “I am so excited to see it open again, it has been a long road but it is what the people and children here deserve.

“We just need the friends group to get up and running to make the library sustainable.”

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: "Libraries provide these important services on our doorstep, and it's clear to see from the many people who have come along today how much people in Thornton value theirs."

Head teacher at Baines Endowed Primary School, Gill Finney had brought children to see the reopening.

She said: “It is fantastic to have the library back. We have always done a lot of work here ad it was sad when it closed as it was too far to travel to Poulton. It looks fantastic and our school librarians have been picking up new ideas.”

Also present were children and staff from Little Explorers Nursery. Owner Amy Crook said: "It is wonderful to have the library open again. It was a long journey for us to travel to another library and it is important for our children's development to have access to books."