Bentham library to celebrate move to new premises

This story was published 11 July 2017

Bentham library will celebrate its move to new premises with an official launch on Saturday, 15 July.

interior of Bentham library

Novelist Leah Fleming, who lives locally and is a supporter of the library, will officially open the new premises. North Yorkshire County Council members and officers and dignitaries will attend the launch.

The event will run from 11am to 1pm, though the library will be open from 10am. There will be tea, coffee and cake as well as children’s activities and face painting to coincide with the launch on the same day of this year’s summer reading challenge, which takes the theme Animal Agents.

Bentham became a community-managed library in April as part of a transformation that requires all county libraries to be supported or run by volunteers to maintain and develop the service. It moved into its new home in May thanks to a partnership between health and arts charity Pioneer Projects, volunteer group the Friends of Bentham Library and the County Council’s library service and Stronger Communities team.

The library now occupies the first floor at Pioneer Projects’ centre in King Street. Walls and doors were removed to open up the space, which has been newly decorated and furnished and has seen the addition of £10,000 of books.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Library and Information Services, said: “Even though the library has been in its new home for only a few weeks, the feedback has been extremely positive. We hope the launch will encourage even more people to pop in to discover the bright welcome that awaits, not to mention the fabulous view across the surrounding countryside!

“This is an excellent example of partnerships in action. The move brings the library closer to the town centre and means resources, costs and expertise can be shared and initiatives developed.”

Bentham is one of several new community-managed libraries in Craven, the others being Settle, Ingleton and South Craven at Crosshills, which is also holding an official launch on 15 July with guest Paul Hudson, weather presenter for BBC Look North, from 10.30am. These libraries join existing community-managed libraries at Gargrave, Grassington and Embsay.