A South Tyneside charity has come up with a novel way of safeguarding a local library for the future.
Action Station South Tyneside is taking over the running of Boldon Lane Library from Monday 18 February. Action Station, which is based close to Boldon Lane Library, works directly and in partnership with other local organisations to provide training, education and employment support.
The library will cease to be run by the Council at 5pm on Friday 8 February. The library will be closed for a short time while ICT equipment is reconfigured and volunteers are trained.
Under the management of Action Station, the library will be open for longer and the group will consider early evening and weekend opening once demand has been gauged. 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.
Councillor 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.