Boldon Lane Library set for a new chapter after being saved from closure by charity

Coun Fay Cunningham with West Harton Action Station's Dr Angela Lishman, left, and Hazel McCallion, at Boldon Lane Library, South Shields.
Coun Fay Cunningham with West Harton Action Station's Dr Angela Lishman, left, and Hazel McCallion, at Boldon Lane Library, South Shields.

The date has been set for the doors to open on a South Shields library which has been saved from closure.

The future of Boldon Lane Library wasn’t set for a happy ending when it was one of the number on the council’s hit list to be shut down as part of cost-cutting measures.

The library space will also be used for a variety of community activities and we are recruiting volunteers to help us run a number of services including the library and community café.

Hazel McCallion

Neighbouring charity Action Station South Tyneside stepped in to help safeguard its future.

As of Friday at 5pm, the council will cease to run the service and the doors will be closed. It will re-open under the management of Action Station South Tyneside on Monday February 18. 
The short closure will allow ICT equipment to be reconfigured and volunteers to be trained.

Under the management of Action Station, the library will open for longer with early evening and weekend opening considered. The group will also look to deliver children’s activities during school holidays.

Chief Executive at Action Station, Hazel McCallion, said: “We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to keep Boldon Lane library operating and we look forward to meeting current and new library members.

“The library space will also be used for a variety of community activities and we are recruiting volunteers to help us run a number of services including the library and community café.”

The transfer is the latest in a series of moves which have seen libraries in the borough taken over by community groups.

Primrose Library is now run by Perth Green Community Association while local charity Boldon and Cleadon Community Library has taken over the management of East Boldon Library.

Coun Fay Cunningham, lead member for the voluntary sector, partnerships and co-operatives, said: “As a consequence of drastically reduced funding from central government, we have had to look at alternative ways of delivering the services we know our residents value.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to the team at Action Station who have agreed to step up to the challenge and work with us to protect our valuable library services.”

The Churches Together Key Project Food Bank will also be located in the Boldon Lane building.