Library in Kensal Rise gets £75,000 council boost

Kensal Rise Library (Picture: Imogen Braddick)

Kensal Rise Library (Picture: Imogen Braddick) - Credit: Archant

A community library in Kensal Rise has received a £75,000 boost which is bringing it closer to opening after seven years of campaigning.

Campaigners for the Kensal Rise Library in Bathurst Gardens received the grant from Brent Council as part of its Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Margaret Bailey, chair of Friends of Kensal Rise Library (FKRL) said: “After a seven-year campaign we are finally looking forward to opening our library. With the support of Shepheard Epstein Hunter architects and MDS London, our newly appointed builders, the work that we have fundraised for will soon begin.

“We have managed to raise more than £200,000, which will go towards the refurbishment of the empty space and towards the first year of operations.”

She added: “We know we have more to raise and will continue to hold fundraising events and to apply for grants to achieve our goal. We know how hard this will be, but we have the support of our community which has stood by us for so long.”

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Kensal Rise Library was closed by Brent Council in 2011 along with five other libraries, to save £1m.

The £75k grant is part of the council’s £730,000 CIL fund which was awarded to 22 community projects across Brent from a

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pot of money which comes from new developments.

Cllr Jumbo Chan, Labour councillor for Kensal Green Ward, said the library will offer students from Queens Park Community School and City Academy work placements, volunteering opportunities and the chance to take their Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

He said: “We had no hesitation in adding to this community effort by helping FKRL’s application for the CIL funds.

“Kensal Rise Library is an extremely important local asset, and we feel strongly compelled to support its social, educational and moral potential.”

Marc Dickman, managing director of MDS London, said: “We’re very proud to be contributing to the community project to help save and renovate the library, which is an integral part of the local community.”

A spokesman for SEH, added: “Libraries are very, very important. They play a big part in changing people’s lives for

the better.”

“The effort put in by the Friends and their tenacity in the face of a very difficult situation, over many years, has been really admirable.”

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