Cricklewood Library gets welcome £125,000 boost from Garfield Weston Foundation

Friends of Cricklewood Library smashing their fundraising target in 2017

Friends of Cricklewood Library smashing their fundraising target in 2017 - Credit: Archant

Library campaigners in Cricklewood got a big surprise and welcome boost with a charitable windfall of more than £100,000.

The new Cricklewood Library

The new Cricklewood Library - Credit: Friends of Cricklewood Library

Friends of Cricklewood Library (FOCL) which is campaigning to reopen Cricklewood Library and community hub, has been awarded £125,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

The funding will enable completion of the work on the new building in Olive Road,so it can reopen fully loaded.

Sally Long, chair of FOCL, said: “I had to sit down when I heard about the funding from Garfield Weston. It took my breath away.

“After seven years it’s like the final piece in the puzzle - it means we can get the library built and open.

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“Cricklewood is a diverse area with a growing population and people at risk of isolation and struggling financially, there’s little public transport, so the creative, cultural and social interaction we’ll be able to offer is all the more important, especially to young families, teenagers and older people.”

The group has fought for six years to retain the library which was closed by Brent Council in 2011. It was then demolished in 2016 and rebuilt as a mixed development with a community space on the ground floor.

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Campaigners have succeeded in securing a 999 year lease, at a peppercorn rent, on the 2,000 square foot space.

They have also raised more than £100,000 through fundraising activities helping them secure funding by Sadiq Khan through his Crowdfund London scheme.

Mum-of-two Zoe Gahan, said: “Moving into Cricklewood with two under 5s, meeting people working to get the library open meant we had things to do.

“We’ve danced at ceilidhs, sung Christmas carols and been to classical concerts, got fit in the park, listened to Zadie Smith reading her work and joined in fundraising.

“It means so much with small kids to have a local space to meet friends. I can’t wait to walk through the library doors with my family.”

The Weston Anniversary Fund was launched earlier this year to provide funding to charities to improve their existing facilities or provide new ones as part of the Foundation’s 60th year. Foundation director Philippa Charles, said: “The impact of these grants will be significant, with benefits for many people lasting years.”

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