Lifeline bid submitted for shut down library

A library shut down as part of a £200m package of cuts could be handed a lifeline.
Thornton LibraryThornton Library
Thornton Library

An 11th hour plan has been submitted to take over the running of Thornton library.

The proposal was submtted by County Councillor Andrea Kay on Thursday last week, just hours before the library was due to close its doors for the final time.

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The library is now closed by Coun Kay is hoping the proposals, put together by an unnamed group will be enough to convince County Hall chiefs to hand the facility over.

Coun Kay said: “It is a good bid.

“We have been talking about this for some time and it just seemed the right thing to do.

“The idea is to have a library and a community hub.

“There as well thought out plans and it is a strong bid with genuine local backing.”

The Gazette understands the bid has been made by an established community group.

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It has not come from the Friends of Thornton and Cleveleys Libraries, which had campaigned against the closures.

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That group has held talks with Lancashire County Council over the future of both libraries and has been sent finance details for the sites.

However no formal proposal has yet been made.

A spokesman for the group said: “We are awaiting the financial details from Lancashire County Council

“Right now we have no details of who has made this bid or what is involved.

“It feels a little like we have been gazumped.

“We will still discuss our options for both sites.

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“However if these proposals for Thornton were to be accepted and some services use the library as a base it could impact on the viability of any bid for Cleveleys.

“All we can do is await further information and see if this bid is accepted.”

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Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard is also hoping more information might be made public in the coming days. He said: “I’m pleased to hear any suggestion of a bid for one of these facilities and I look forward to hearing further details in due course.”

Thornton and Cleveleys libraries were among 29 across Lancashire which were shut as part of a huge cost-cutting programme.

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County councillors said they had no choice but to shut down services as they were faced with spiralling costs.

Figures show County Hall could run out of cash by 2019 unless dramatic spending cuts are made.

Fleetwood and Poulton libraries remain open along with Knott End. Community groups and specially founded community interest companies have been founded in a number of towns to bid to run libraries earmarked for closure.