Volunteers who have made a huge success of a community library have won the praise of Rishi Sunak.

The Discovery Centre in Great Ayton celebrated its tenth anniversary as a community-run resource in the autumn of last year.

Mr Sunak was invited to a celebration event but was unable to attend as it was the day he was made Prime Minister.

During his recent visit, he met many of the of 30 volunteers who help to run the centre which, as well as offering conventional lending library services, also houses the village’s tourist information centre and sells local crafts and second-hand books.

Mr Sunak, Richmond MP and Prime Minister, said the Discovery Centre was one North Yorkshire’s first community-run libraries and was one of the best.

He added: “I have seen it expand its activities to become so much more than just a library. It is now the centre of a lot of community events and activity in Great Ayton. The volunteers play a vitally-important role in helping it to thrive.”

Mr Sunak joined a craft group using locally-gathered sea glass to make Christmas cards and decorations. He also met the centre’s oldest and youngest volunteers – 88-year-old Arthur Cowen and Isabel Reynolds, aged 14.

Discovery Centre trustee Ken Taylor was glad of the opportunity to welcome back Mr Sunak for his third visit to the centre.

“Mr Sunak has supported what we do here from the beginning of his time as our local MP, including opening our extension in 2018," he said. "The volunteers and staff enjoyed meeting him once more.

“We appreciate him finding the time in his busy schedule to come to see us. It means a lot to the centre that he could attend after missing our celebrations last year.”

Mr Taylor, a former chair of the centre’s trustees, added that the centre was always keen to attract more volunteers who can contribute as much time as they can manage. New trustees were also welcome to help with its running.