Authors Maggie Gee and Nick Rankin give donation to Kensal Rise library

PUBLISHED: 10:52 29 June 2016 | UPDATED: 10:54 29 June 2016

Maggie Gee and Nick Rankin have donated £1,000 to the library (Pic: Elizabeth Vickers)

Maggie Gee and Nick Rankin have donated £1,000 to the library (Pic: Elizabeth Vickers)


Married authors Maggie Gee and Nick Rankin have made a £1,000 donation towards the opening of a new community library near their former home.

Kensal Rise Library was closed by the council in 2011Kensal Rise Library was closed by the council in 2011

The couple have pledged their support for Kensal Rise library which is due to open in the next few weeks.

The space within the former council-run library building in Bathurst Gardens, needs complete renovating including new flooring, plumbing, wiring, plus equipment and books.

Brent Council closed the branch alongside five others in 2011 to save £1million-a-year.

Residents formed Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) to fight the closure and after the branch was axed they launched a successful battle to be allocated space within the building to open a community-run reading room.

Maggie Gee with fellow author Philip PullmanMaggie Gee with fellow author Philip Pullman

Ms Gee, who was given an OBE in 2011 for her services to literature, said: “In 2012 we left Kensal Rise after 26 years, but we still love the library that Mark Twain opened and that local people, including us, fought so long and hard for.

“The war is won; it’s time to fund the peace.”

FKRL need £200,000 to pay for the library’s running costs for the first year and have held a catalogue of events to help raise the much-needed funds.

Margaret Bailey, chairwoman of FKRL, said: “We have so far been given over £48,000. This includes donations from local residents, businesses and £8,000 from the local authority, and now this incredibly generous donation from Maggie and Nick.

“The support we have received both locally and beyond is gratifying: from the £150 sent by the Friends of the Carnegie Library in Herne Hill, who are fighting to keep their own library open, to the £46 raised by local children from their lemonade stall.

“We have no doubt that we can achieve our goal of a library at the heart of our community once again.

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