Lee-on-the-Solent resident makes £2,000 donation to project transforming library into a community hub

AMBITIOUS plans to transform a library earmarked for closure into a community hub have been boosted by a generous £2,000 donation.

Monday, 24th August 2020, 5:17 pm
Lee-on-the-Solent resident David Gray has donated £2,000 to help the closed library in the area be turned into Lee Hub. Pictured: Cllr John Beavis, David Gray and Cllr Graham Burgess

Councillors, business owners and residents are pulling together to convert Lee-on-the-Solent library into self-funding Lee Hub, and plenty of people have offered their support.

The facility will be closed by Hampshire County Council on January 1, alongside libraries in Elson, Horndean, Fair Oak, Blackfield, Lyndhurst, Odiham and South Ham, in a bid to save £1.76m.

Lee-on-the-Solent resident David Gray, who was born the year the library opened in 1934, was saddened to hear of the proposed closure and contacted Lee West councillor John Beavis to donate £2,000 towards Lee Hub.

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Lee-on-the-Solent resident David Gray has donated £2,000 to help the closed library in the area be turned into Lee Hub. Pictured: David Gray with a ceremonial cheque

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David said: ‘Our library is a wonderful building and so much a part of our community in Lee, we have a great team in Lee-on-the-Solent who are working hard to set up the Lee Hub for the community. I am pleased to make this donation to help this project and hope others will join me in donating as well.’

Graham Burgess, councillor for Lee East, was staggered by this generous donation which will kickstart the team’s fundraising efforts.

Cllr Burgess, who hopes to help replicate this community effort to save Elson Library as well, said: ‘This donation is the start of our fundraising campaign - I had to sit down when I got the phone call.

‘This is phenomenal, Lee-on-the-Solent is a real community. Everybody is responding, it’s all just coming together. It’s going really well and it’s a community effort.

‘We’re looking at how we can raise funds to keep it going, I expect a lot of people in Lee-on-the-Solent and the local area will also contribute.’

The next steps for the campaign will include putting a survey to residents to see what they would like from the library and how they can help.

Jonathan Moore from Lee Business Association, which is part of the driving force behind Lee Hub, said: ‘We’re trying to understand what the community wants. What we’re hoping to do is drive the concept from the ideas of Lee-on-the-Solent residents - then it’s down to the community to make it happen.’

To learn more or offer support, email [email protected] or visit facebook.com/Leehubforall

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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