23 March 2012

A new fundraising drive for Kettering Library is being launched.

The Kettering Friends of the Library group is launching a restoration appeal with the support of Northamptonshire County Council to raise £1 million to help restore the historical building.

The county council is helping to launch the fundraising appeal by contributing £250,000 to restore the wooden parquet flooring at the library which has been in place since the library was first opened over 100 years ago. The work to the floor will also involve the re-opening of the library’s grand entrance onto Sheep Street.

It is hoped that local businesses or individuals will come forward as part of the appeal to help raise money to restore the building’s plasterwork and roof, and to redecorate.

County council cabinet member for customer services Councillor Heather Smith said: “Kettering Library is one of town’s most eye-catching and historic buildings and is visited by an average of 600 people every day.

“The building is now over 100 years old and needs some attention, but we simply cannot afford to restore the building by ourselves. This is why we are supporting the Friends of the Library group as they work to raise money for this appeal.

“I’m pleased we have been able to kick it off with an initial £250,000 investment to restore the ancient wooden parquet flooring. This money demonstrates our commitment to libraries and our ongoing work to develop the library service so that it has a strong and successful future.

“I’m calling on everyone in the local community, individuals and businesses alike - Kettering Library is your library. Please get involved and help restore this building to its former glory.”

John Wilson, Chair of the Friends of Kettering Library, said “The library is a real asset to the intellectual life of the town in many ways. I am glad that the Friends have been asked to take on this Appeal as a project in the Dickens bicentenary year.”

The fundraising appeal was officially launched at 12pm Saturday March 24th at the library. Anyone who could not attend can find out more about how they can help by emailing alovely@northamptonshire.gov.uk