Barham Library campaigners launch book sale to fund new home in axed Wembley branch
PUBLISHED: 13:39 29 January 2016 | UPDATED: 13:39 29 January 2016
A team of dedicated campaigners in Wembley have signed a 15-year lease allowing them to move into the lounge room of the axed Barham Park Library branch.
Volunteers from Friends of Barham Library hailed the turning of a new chapter which will see them relocated from their current sites on the Wembley High Road and Sudbury Town underground station.
Over the coming weeks they will be selling a range of books and equipment at to raise the estimated £20,000 annual cost of running the centre.
The campaigners, who lost the fight to save the library in 2011, are busy preparing to return home after winning a five-year-battle to return the service to part of the mock-Tudor cottage in October.
The branch was closed alongside Cricklewood, Preston, Kensal Rise, Tokyngton and Neasden branches to save Brent Council £1million-a-year.
Paul Lorber, former Liberal Democrat councillor, has led the fight to return the library to Barham Park.
He said volunteers were “delighted” to have signed on the new premises but warned the next challenge is raising the £8,500 rent and annual maintenance costs of running the centre.
He said: “All the hard work has paid off. While we cannot have the old library building we have been successful in bidding for the former reception building.
“The space is smaller than the former library and we may not be able to do everything we want - but it gives us a much needed foothold back in Barham Park. It’s the ideal spot for a library.
“Now we are selling some books that won’t fit in the new place and I’d encourage anyone and everyone to come down and help us raise the £20,000 to £25,000 it will take to keep the services running”.
“A big thank you to everyone who stuck with us and supported us on this five-year-long journey.”
The library will not receive any council funding and will rely entirely on donations to cover the rent and provide a reading room plus computer courses and English lessons.
The team is also seeking volunteers to man the library and assist with running a range of activities from children’s reading sessions to bridge clubs.
The Wembley High Road premises will be vacated by March 2.
A community library service will continue being run from Sudbury Town underground station until August this year when the lease will be up for renewal.
There will also be a number of open days at the new premises as soon as the volunteers get the keys.
They will also be holding their annual “big lunch” picnic event in Barham Park on Sunday June 12.