Village campaigners plan to run the library themselves

Taking the initiative: Liz Owen and campaigners at Ringmer Library
Taking the initiative: Liz Owen and campaigners at Ringmer Library

With Ringmer Library set to close on Saturday, May 5, committed campaigners have been working on a scheme to keep the service in the village.

Essentially they would run the library themselves as a community venture and a business plan is being submitted to East Sussex County Council.

The idea is to have an independent library, staffed by volunteers and operating in the existing building.

Liz Owen, of Save Ringmer Library, said: “The proposal is that the library group will work under the auspices of Ringmer Village Hall, already a registered charity with a proven track record.

“The library opening times will stay the same or may be slightly extended; it will be free to use and open to all.

“We will retain a free public access computer with internet facilities, and we will continue to provide help for people to get online.

“We will also provide regular rhyme-time and story-time sessions.”

She added: “We are delighted to announce that when the library isn’t open, Ringmer Baptist Church will use it as a church office and to run activities from the space. They have very generously agreed to pay many of the costs, which has made our whole scheme workable.

“The county council has agreed to lease us some books and fixtures and fittings for a peppercorn rent, but there will be a period in which it will decommission the library, and then we will need to set up the new system.

“Inevitably, this will mean a closure period of around a month, but we will do all we can to minimise that.”

The Save Ringmer Library fund-raising team is holding an event at the village hall on Saturday, May 12, from 10am until 12 noon.

It will be an opportunity to find out more about the community venture.

There will be coffee, home-made cakes and a raffle on offer, together with a book swap – bring one, take one; or bring more, take more.

Information on how to support the campaign is available by contacting SaveRingmerLibrary@mail.com