Community library set to take over in Lee-on-the-Solent as team works to save facility marked for closure
PLANS to save a library from closure are going ahead thanks to the support of a ‘unique community’ rallying to take it over.
Volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure Lee-on-the-Solent library remains open for the community after it was among eight libraries earmarked for closure by Hampshire County Council.
In an exciting development, the county council have confirmed that independent community library the Lee Hub will take over running the facility in 2021, with the building to be transferred to Gosport Borough Council’s ownership.
Jonathan Moore, from Lee Business Association, has played a key role in pulling the proposals together and is looking forward to opening Lee Hub on February 1.
He said: ‘We have been tirelessly working on getting the expression of interest together. We’re working hard, we’re very pleased and relieved all the hard work has paid off.
‘More than 150 people have put their names forward to volunteer so now it's looking to see who can actually be involved.
‘It’s now down to the community, funding isn’t going to be magically found from the government or council. It’s now down to hard graft.’
The team behind Lee Hub has estimated they will need to fundraise around £10,000 a year to keep the library open.
Around £2,500 has already been raised for the project, including a generous £2,000 given by Lee-on-the-Solent resident David Gray, who was born the year the library opened in 1934.
Graham Burgess, councillor for Lee East, is proud of the community for working together to saved the much-loved asset and keep it open for future generations.
Cllr Burgess said: ‘Lee is a unique community. I feel very elated at the moment at the team that we have who have got this far and the spirit of the local community has been amazing.
‘The number of people that responded to the survey that came out from the county council, the number of people who have responded to our emails, it has been really good and positive.
‘This is the community coming together from all different sections, they all want to see us succeed and we are going ahead.’