A plan to demolish Denby Dale library and build a brand new community run facility has taken a massive step forward.
Kirklees Council planners this week gave the green light to the Denby Dale Community Project’s (DDCP) proposals.
The DDCP revealed ambitious plans to construct a £¼m facility last May after Kirklees Council said it could not guarantee the future of the village library, which also hosted the Sure Start centre.
A year on and the group of volunteers, led by Denby Dale Tory, Clr Jim Dodds, is celebrating the latest positive news as the project gathers pace.
Clr Dodds said: “We have achieved a great deal in a very short period of time, thanks to our committed working party and the residents and businesses of Denby Dale.
“We really are moving in the right direction.
“After months of behind-the-scenes work by volunteers and trustees we made significant progress on four fronts: with Kirklees Council, recruiting volunteers to help run the library, obtaining planning permission for the new building and with our fundraising.
“On April 8 Kirklees Cabinet agreed to back DDCP, by transferring the existing library building and land to us, giving us £100,000 towards the construction costs of the new community building and pledging to provide library support assistance for the next 18 months.
“On April 10 we held an open day at the library and talked with over 50 local people about volunteering to help run the library. We hope as many as 20 of these will become volunteers, which will be a good way towards our target.
“And on April 11 we heard we’d got planning permission for the new building, for which we have to thank hugely Alyson Ronan, architect at Ronan Developments, for her time and expertise over the last year.”
Alyson, who designed the building free-of-charge, said: “I live locally and wanted to help the project, as I too want to contribute to our community.”
The charitable trust has already had pledges of more than £150,000 but needs to raise a further £111,000 within the next 12 months.
Clr Dodds added: “We have submitted over 45 applications to trusts requesting funding and have favourable responses already.
“With yet more help from our generous local community we’re confident we can achieve our vision of a new community building in Denby Dale by mid 2015.”
The group now plans to demolish the existing, dilapidated single-storey building on Wakefield Road and construct a two-storey community building.
Along with the library service the new building will be bases for The Denby Dale Centre and Kirkwood Hospice and will also host an internet cafe.
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