Community group to become charity to safeguard Highgate Library’s future

A community group fighting to protect a library once threatened with closure is to become a charity to safeguard its future.

The Friends of Highgate Library (FOHL) is to apply for charity status to ensure it can raise funds to keep Highgate Library in Chester Road open for future generations in the face of cuts to services across Camden.

The group is to enter into a near-unprecedented binding legal agreement with Camden Council to jointly run the library with the local authority from April 2015, when council cuts to the library’s funding come into force.

A team of volunteers will run the library alongside at least one member of staff from Camden Council to ensure the library remains open four days a week.

The group hopes that it could open the library six days a week if it can raise enough funds as a charitable incorporated organisation.

Sarah Harrison, chair of FOHL, said: “We have fought very hard to keep the library in the public sector.” She added: “More and more resources in the community are being cut with the drive for austerity, but we want the library to really take its place at the centre of the community.”