Campaigners need to raise £100k to open volunteer-run library in Cricklewood
PUBLISHED: 06:45 17 June 2015 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 June 2015
Campaigners in Cricklewood need to raise £100,000 if they want to get their new library up and running by March next year.
The group were devastated after Cricklewood Library in Olive Road, first built in 1929, was closed in 2011 and this week the building was demolished by its new owners Luxap Ltd.
However once a new four-storey building is built on the site the campaigners will occupy the ground floor where they will use it as community-run library.
Sally Long, member of Friends of Cricklewood Library (FoCL), said: “A new, volunteer run library will open in March and between now and then we have to raise the money to fit it out and set it up to stay open.
“We are starting from scratch, so before books and computers we’ve got to get everything from the kitchen sink to plaster for the walls, tables, shelves…”
She added: “After years of campaigning many locals thought there was no chance of keeping a local library, but this adaptable space will be open for longer than the old place, and will offer more activities along with free wifi and fresh coffee.”
Resident Sonja Nerdrum has run a pop-up library for the closure by Brent Council, moving it to a nearby road when the previous developer took possession of the library and set up 6ft hoardings.
Ms Long admitted seeing the old library destroyed was “heartbreaking” for locals.
“Although a new library will be built, it is heartbreaking for many to see the old building go,” she said.
“There are so many memories built into the bricks of the old building. FOCL are building a memory bank, which will include written, oral and filmed recollections of the library and the area around it.”
FoCL have gathered the support of the local community to help raise the desperately needed funds.
Ms Long said: “We’re on a fundraising rollercoaster and putting together a calendar of events, starting with Park Life health fair in Gladstone Park on July 4, an open gardens event at the end of July, auction of promises, quizzes, Cricklewood Festival and a Friendship Day in September.”
They are working in collaboration with local groups including Creative Cricklewood, Ashford Place, The Queensbury Pub and Friends of Gladstone Park with full support of the council.
Cllr Lia Colacicco, Labour councillor for Mapesbury, said: “I’m really excited about the new library and we are now desperately fundraising for rolling book cases, that sort of thing.”
Brent Council closed the library and the Barham, Kensal Rise, Neasden, Preston and Tokyngton branches to save £1million a year.