Campaigners who have kept the fires burning for Preston Library since its closure have been rewarded with a grant from Brent Council.
Community volunteers will receive £6,467 after councillors voted to contribute towards a cinema club and for an expansion of the English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes that are run every Monday afternoon at the former library building.
Preston Library was closed by the council in 2011, but for the last 18 months it has been used for overflow classrooms for the nearby Preston Park Primary School, as well hosting creative writing groups run by the library campaigners, and offering newspapers and magazines.
Samantha Warrington, trustee of Preston Community Library, said: "We are immensely grateful to our councillors for recognising the good work we are doing to build resilience for this extremely diverse community. "Shared language and literacy is vital for the cohesion of this ward, and we are delighted that we will be able to extend our activities.
"We look forward to moving our stock of 6,000 books into the Preston Library as soon as possible so that we can start lending. In addition to ESOL, we also have a rich and varied programme of activities lined up for all sections of the community, young and old, provided by our volunteers. So we can't wait to take possession of the building, as promised to us by our Labour councillors before the local elections last May."
At a public meeting ahead of the local elections in May last year, councillors Roxanne Mashari and Mo Butt promised to give the library building to the Friends of Preston Library to run Preston Community Library, which has been operating from premises in Preston Road, "in perpetuity" and "at a 'peppercorn rent'. They also pledged not to offer the property to competitive tender, in order to give the charity and its volunteers a viable means of operating the facility.
Preston Park Primary School's new extension is due for completion next month, which will enable it to accommodate all of its children on site. The library volunteers then hope to take possession of the building and move in their stock of 6,000 books.
Library volunteers plan to operate a cinema club and other educational, cultural and fundraising activities, as scheduled in their business plan.