In February 2016, Alford Library re-opened as a community library under the name of Alford Focal Point. The Trustees of this charity have been working hard to establish the new organisation which aims to provide a lending library under agreement with Lincolnshire County Council (LCC). In addition to this an education and training center and other community services will gradually be introduced within the premises at South Market Place, Alford.
The project began in January 2014 when Alford Focal Point formed in response to calls from the community and previous volunteer group to ” Save Alford Library”. LCC formally approved the Business Plan in April 2014. The fight to Save Lincolnshire Libraries led to a Judicial Review and plans to close Alford library were delayed. Following the legal wrangling LCC terminated their library provision in Alford at the end of September 2015.
Alford Focal Point were granted the lease at the end of November 2015 along with LCC revenue grant funding of £5167 per annum for four years. A Capital Grant Fund of up to £15,ooo has also been agreed. Following a short closure for refurbishment and volunteer training the library has now re-opened
Throughout this long and drawn out process local support for this project has been strong. The venture is now entering a new phase which will test the changes made so far and enable the organisation to liaise with service users to ensure that the library reflects their needs.