Only Fools and Horses actor opens new centre at Highgate Library
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
A Highgate Library which was threatened with closure just a year ago, has opened a new civic and cultural centre at the site in a bid to secure its long-term future.
The Friends of Highgate Library hgroup as secured a licence from Camden Council to manage the Children’s Corner annex, which will be rented out for community meetings, drama and dance rehearsals, educational courses and exhibitions.
Volunteers from the group celebrated with a special launch event on Monday (July 29) when president, Only Fools and Horses actor Roger Lloyd Pack, officially opened the centre.
The future of the library, in Chester Road, was left hanging in the balance last year after Camden Council announced it was cutting its budget.
But it was thrown a lifeline when the council savings were deferred until 2015.
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As a result, the Friends of Highgate Library have set out to find ways of maximising the space while bringing in additional income so it can continue to operate as a public library.
The Children’s Corner, which was added to the main library in 1936, has been redecorated. It was previously used as a store for the mobile library book collection.
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Mr Lloyd Pack, who played Trigger in the hit BBC show, said: “There were threats the library would close so we had a meeting which was very well attended to discuss what would be the best form of action to take and it was decided to try and negociate with the council to take over the running of the Children’s Corner which was being used as storage for the mobile library.
“We thought if we could use that space to fund raise it would help to keep the library open.
“It’s a magnificent room with some fine architecture, ideal for performance rehearsals, lectures, meetings and it’s going to be let at a very reasonable price.”
Anyone interested in using the space should visit www.dartmouthpark.org/FOHL