A COMMUNITY has rallied round to save their library with over 100 volunteers coming forward to carry on the service.

Campaigners who set up a management group to take over the running of Bedale library say they’re overwhelmed at the response.

Bedale is one of 21 libraries across North Yorkshire, where staff are being withdrawn from April 2017, and which are being handed over to volunteers as part of massive county council budget cuts.

Liz Bostock, of the Bedale management group said over 117 people have volunteered which means a possibility of extending opening hours.

“We estimated we needed 50 volunteers to keep it going so this has exceeded all our expectations. This shows the support the library has, it really was heart warming."

Campaigners collected a 2,300 name petition to keep the library but the council said it must reorganise the service in the face of £174m budget cuts up to 2020.

Mrs Bostock added: "The point is that we may be able to open for more hours as people requested in an earlier survey such as Saturday afternoons and evenings. We don’t under estimate the challenges ahead, but there are successfully run community libraries.

“The library has really brought the community together not just Bedale but the surrounding villages as well. With so much support, I think we have every chance of success.”

* North Yorkshire County Council is carrying out a Public Library User Survey at all libraries until November 26. Visitors may be asked to fill in a questionnaire asking if they are happy with the service.

Chris Metcalfe, executive member for Library and Information Services, said: “It is also an opportunity to find out more about what customers want from their local library and to influence priorities for the development of the service."