St James St Library Campaign

Great news for Walthamstow!
February 20, 2011, 7:55 pm
Filed under: latest news, walthamstow

St James Street Library Campaign and local residents association Blackhorse Action Group are delighted to announce that they have together won a major grant from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).

This is a huge step towards bringing St James Street Library building, in Coppermill Lane, back into community use.

NESTA’s Neighbourhood Challenge received more than 600 applications for community projects around the country. Ours was one of only 17 winners — thanks to terrific work by everyone involved, especially Alison Griffin who put many hours’ work into meeting every requirement of the application.

We plan to create a community centre in part of the library building, bringing back a welcoming space for old and young that has been deeply missed since the library closed in April 2007. The funding will bring twelve months of funding and expert support to the neighbourhood. We hope to engage the whole community, using local talents and creativity.

The closing of our library remains a real loss to our community.  Residents, library-lovers and campaigners across the borough are starting to respond to further threats to library services.  Having seen how much harm it has caused to our part of Walthamstow, the St James Street Library Campaign and BAG urge the council not to close any more libraries.

But after nearly four years of effort and campaigning — with, in recent months, backing from Cllr Clare Coghill and Stella Creasy MP and a new spirit of cooperation from the council — we have won the chance to create a new community centre.

We’ll have lots of work to do over the next 12 months, and we look forward to welcoming you as volunteers, community members, with whatever skills and enthusiasm you can share!

Soon, St James Street Library campaign wont’ be needed for that specific building anymore, but we hope to set up a network to help share experience with other library campaigns around the borough.  We don’t want to see any more libraries closed.