Campaigners have launched a petition to save Batley Library from the axe.

The popular library and art gallery on Market Place has been threatened with closure since 2014 after the government slashed Kirklees Council’s budget.

But Friends of Batley Library believe a previous petition, which gathered 11,000 signatures, made councillors think twice about closing it.

Now the group has launched another petition ordering Kirklees Council to safeguard the facility which serves Kirklees’ third biggest town.

The petition reads: “We the undersigned petition the council to retain the library service in Batley in the current building with all the facilities and support it now provides.

“The Batley Library and Art Gallery building is a strategic asset in the heart of Batley’s stunning Market Place, around which future regeneration initiatives can be built.

Batley Library
Batley Library

“The services within the building are unique within the town centre campus in attracting such a variety of beautiful Batley folk. (It is) so good for health and wellbeing and a jewel in Batley’s crown.

You can view and sign the petition HERE

Friends of Batley Library are also encouraging people to take part in a public consultation on the future of Kirklees libraries which the council opened last month.

You can participate in the consultation HERE

Friends of Batley Library chairman Simon Roadnight said: “We want to keep it open at all costs but I am realistic. We understand it’s a big old building with high running costs. The group won’t be able to run it themselves.

“If the library goes then the town has lost it’s heartbeat. It’s very well used.

“We encourage people to sign the petition, take part in the consultation and write letters to the council because it makes a difference.”

Under current council saving plans Kirklees would be left with just two of its 26 council-run libraries.

Some, such as Honley Library, have already been taken over by voluntary groups.