Kensal Rise Library campaigners raise the �70,000 needed to keep crusade going

Next chapter will see proposal to take over the building submitted to All Soul’s College

Library campaigners are celebrating today (Thursday) after successfully raising the funds they need to run a community library in Kensal Rise.

The Friends of Kensal Rise (FOKR) have been desperately fundraising for the last few weeks to come up with the �70,000 they needed to put a proposal to the building’s owners, All Souls College in Oxford.

The campaign has attracted widespread support from authors and entrepreneurs alike, including, Jimmy Wales, founder of online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia and author of the Discworld series Sir Terry Pratchett.

Kensal Rise Library, in Bathurst Gardens, was shut down by Brent Council last year alongside five others in the borough.

The reading room, which was given to the council as a gift from All Souls College in Oxford and opened by American author Mark Twain in 1900 was handed back the college earlier this year.

They are now looking at selling or renting the building to prospective owners and are expected to make a final decision next month.

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Margaret Bailey, a member of the FOKR campaign told the Times: “It has been overwhelming the support this campaign has had not just local, but from all over London, Engand and indeed the world.

“Proof, if it was needed, that people do care about libraries and about their neighbourhoods and it shows what working together can do.

“I am so very proud of this community, everyone is to be congratulated for their hard work and giving us their support.” If the proposal is successful, the money will be used for a year running costs, repairs and maintenance and to have a ‘stash’ in the bank to convince All Souls that we are serious, that we can do it.

The move to close Barham, Cricklewood, Neasden, Tokyngton, Kensal Rise and Preston libraries will save the local authority �1m.