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Community group bids to take over closed Sunderland library

Public meeting at back on the Mao, Villette Road, about the future of Hendon Library building

Public meeting at back on the Mao, Villette Road, about the future of Hendon Library building

A COMMUNITY group is preparing its bid to take control of one of the city’s closed libraries.

Back on the Map (BOtM) has found support from residents in its decision to try to reopen Hendon Library as a community centre with “library provision.”

So far, BOtM, headed up by trust director Jen McKevitt, has received about 103 letters of support from residents, as well as organisations including Northumbria Police, the NHS, Hendon Young People’s Project and Longstreets Action Group (LAG).

Jen, who has consulted with members of Hendon’s residents on what the library should be used for, said that if the council support its application, the new community centre will make a “big difference” to the area.

“We don’t want to take over the library because we want to empire build,” she said. “We want it for the community – the ideas we will put forward we have got from the community – and we are committed to them. We want to make it into a community hub, with arts and literature at its heart.”

BOtM will put its application forward to the council by December 20, and hope to hear if it is successful early next year, however number of other organisations are bidding for control of the site.

If BOtM is successful, it will apply for about £50,000 initial funding from Enhancing Communities Fund to make the site usable. The group also hopes to turn its current office into a charity shop to fund the new centre.

 

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