Writers donate to re-open Kensal Rise Library

Writers donate to re-open Kensal Rise Library

Two writers have donated £1,000 to the Kensal Rise Library Appeal to help re-open the library which was closed in 2011.

Maggie Gee, author of The White Family (Telegram Books), and Nick Rankin, author of Ian Fleming's Commandos (Faber), collectively donated £1,000 to help with the renovation of the library.

After a five-year battle, residents and campaigners have secured the future of the library which will re-open next year. The venue was closed by Brent Council in 2011 before being sold to Uplift Properties, which will convert the building into flats, but set aside most of the ground floor for library and community use, which will be rent-free in perpetuity. It will be run by and for the community.

Gee said: "In 2012, we left Kensal Rise after 26 years, but we still love the library that Mark Twain opened and that local people, including us, fought so long and hard for. The war is won, it's time to fund the peace."

The library's future is safe but campaigners say it needs "complete renovation" including flooring, plumbing, wiring, plus equipment and books.

Campaigners are appealing for help with this and with first year running costs, totalling £200,000.

Both writers have been supporters and activists for the campaign to maintain a library in Kensal Rise since the 1989 occupation, and have also enlisted the support of novelists Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson, and the Royal Society of Literature.

Margaret Bailey, chair of the friends of Kensal Rise Library, said: "The support we have received both locally and beyond is gratifying: from the £150 sent by the Friends of the Carnegie Library in Herne Hill, who are fighting to keep their own library open, to the £46 raised by local children from their lemonade stall;we have so far been given over £48,000. This includes donations from local residents, businesses and £8,000 from the local authority,  - and now this incredibly generous donation from Maggie and Nick. We have no doubt that we can achieve our goal of a library at the heart of our community once again."

Donations can be made here.

Picture: Park Life