Green light for Ore community library plan

BooksA COMMUNITY group has been given the go-ahead to reopen a former library in Hastings.

East Sussex County Council’s lead member for resources, Cllr Nick Bennett, has approved a proposal to lease the Ore Library building to Ore Community Library Group.

The newly-formed group will take on a three-year peppercorn lease for the building, its fixtures and fittings and a selection of stock and run the facility as a Community Library.

The council had agreed last year to lease the building to Ore Community Association, but after the two parties failed to reach agreement, other community groups were invited to come forward.

Cllr Nick Bennett said: “We’re grateful for the submission of interest from this group and are pleased to be able to support their proposal for a community facility, which I’m sure will be welcomed by people in Ore.”

Ore was one of seven libraries closed by the county council in May last year, part of a revised libraries strategy aimed at creating a modern and sustainable library service in the light of Government funding cuts.

The new strategy included new community and teacher’s library cards, homework and study clubs in libraries and increased outreach work in the county’s most disadvantaged communities.

Councillor Bill Bentley, Lead Member for Communities said: “Ore Community Library Group have shown a real commitment to reopening the building and have put forward a credible plan for its future.

“We look forward to working with the group in the next few months to complete the signing of the lease to enable the group to get the Community Library up and running.”

Former council-run libraries in Langney, Ringmer, Willingdon and Pevensey Bay have subsequently reopened as community-run facilities while similar plans are also in the pipeline in Polegate.

As with these other Community Libraries, the reopened Ore library will not form part of the statutory library service provided by the county council.