Fears for future of crumbling Doncaster library

Volunteers at one of Doncaster’s community run libraries fear for its future unless improvement work is carried out on its building.

By David Kessen
Monday, 19th August 2019, 1:13 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th August 2019, 6:55 pm

Cantley Library was built in the 1960s – and now the committee that runs the venue are warning that if repairs are not carried out with council help, the building could become unsafe and unusable.

They have held talks with Doncaster Council to warn them of their concerns.

Barrie Colledge, chairman at the library, said: “When we first took over running the library, we were given a survey that suggested it would cost £90,000 to put the building in shape. Further surveys have said £200,000 to £300,000 to have it refurbished. The first quote, we thought we could have raised, but not £300,000.

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Pictured left to right at Cantley Library are Kath Cope, Barrie Colledge, Kate McKeown and Sheila Warner

“We’ve tried to get other funding, but it is hard to find funding for capital projects.

“The building is going to wrack and run.

“We need a completely new building, and the lottery won’t fund new library buildings.

“The base of the steel is corroded in the concrete now.

Damage to the building at Cantley Library

“Our concern is that one day we will get to the stage that we can’t use it any more.

Volunteer Sheila Warner added: “A lot of libraries are brick, Ours is steel and timber clad. We’re not only one of the biggest libraries, but we’ve got people from other estates who come and use this one when others are closed.”

Another volunteer, Kate McKeown, added they feared there were only a couple of years left in the building.

Cantley was one of a number of libraries handed over to volunteers to run in 2012 as part of a cost saving programme.

Residents wanted the library to stay in its current location when it switched to become community run, rather than moving to a proposed alternative site within Cantley Community Centre.

It is now used by a number of community groups including knit and natter, and the volunteers believe it helps fight social isolation.

Phil Holmes, director of adults, health and wellbeing at Doncaster Council said: “The Council has recently organised a survey of the building. We plan to discuss this with the community volunteers who run the library and explore opportunities to support the service into the future.”

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