First Community Library gets off to a festive start

The first community-run library in Telford and Wrekin has formally opened for business – and it will get off to a festive start by hosting a Christmas market on Thursday.

First Community Library gets off to a festive start
Stirchley Community Library will be run by Stirchley and Brookside Parish Council at the Sambrook Centre in a tangible example of strong partnership working.

It has come about after Telford & Wrekin Council appealed to its community earlier this year for assistance with delivering services that it could no longer afford to provide.

Monday (DEC 12) was the first day of the library being operated by the Parish Council and the Christmas market will take place on Thursday between 3-5pm.

“We were extremely heartened by the positive response we received to our appeal for help, which has resulted in some fantastic examples of partnership working,” said Councillor Liz Clare, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for Libraries.

“I am delighted that the first community library has now opened but it is going to be a lot more than just a library – it will be a dedicated community hub where people can socialise, have a coffee and access a whole host of services.

“The Christmas market on Thursday promises to be a fantastic example of bringing local people together to celebrate.”

Councillor Jackie Loveridge, chairman of Stirchley and Brookside Parish Council, said: “We are thrilled with the opportunity we have to create a community hub for our residents and are looking forward to an exciting future.”

Stirchley and Brookside Parish Council’ has now completed on the purchase of the Sambrook Centre and the council’s innovative approach will result in the building providing a one stop hub for local residents.

Partnerships have been forged between the Parish Council and organisations like local groups and clubs, FairShare, Citizens Advice Bureau, Youth Clubs, Parish Council services and Library facilities. In the New Year a Scout group and a Slimming Club will be using the centre. 

The vision for The Sambrook Centre is to create a central point where residents can meet informally, join in with groups and access services and support. 

The library will be staffed by a team of Volunteers, supported by Parish Council staff and will be open to the public 9:30am-4:30pm five days a week.

The Christmas Market has managed to attract many local groups to showcase what is on offer within the Stirchley and Brookside area. 

Local groups attending include; Take 5 Café, The Happy Upcycling Group, Timber Junction, Telford Bikes, Friends of Holmer Lake, Step Right Up, Stirchley Allotments, local policing teams, Grange Park Primary School Choir and Body Shop Representatives.