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Fresh hope for campaign to save Kensal Rise Library

10:28 08 March 2012

All Souls College gives permission for community to take over library

The Oxford University college which donated a library to the community closed by Brent Council has said it would be happy to let residents run it.

Kensal Rise Library, in Bathurst Gardens, was a gift by All Souls College, and was opened by American author Mark Twain, 111 years ago.

However, Brent Council closed the Victorian reading room in October last year.

But this week a spokesman from the college wrote to the Friends of Kensal Rise Library and said: “All Souls College has contacted the council via its solicitor to inform them that the college would be happy to consider the library being kept open as proposed in the business plan prepared by the Friends of Kensal Rise Library.’

The ball is now in Brent Council’s court.

A pop-up library has been set up as a replacement outside the closed reading room.

Margaret Bailey, campaigner, said: ‘As a community you are to be thanked for your continuing to be solid in your support for the campaign. A long campaign that is not over yet.

‘The fact that All Souls regards the reverter as not being triggered is due to the fact that our library is still a library and it is still a library because of the magnificent defence put up by our community.’

The Friends of Kensal Rise Library, a registered charity made up of dedicated campaigners, presented a business plan to the council in December.

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