Brent Cabinet last night approved the granting of a larger than usual Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) grant of £267,983 for the fitting out of Preston Community Library.
The community library is housed in the building which used to be the council run Preston Library, closed by a former Labour administration as part of the so-called 'Libraries Transformation Project'. After closure the building became an annexe to Preston Park Primary School but is no longer needed by the school.
Under the management of the volunteers in the Preston Community Library campaign, the building has become a well-used community hub with a cinema and classes as well as an adult and children's lending library.
The site is ear-marked for redevelopment so the grant is subject to receipt of formal approval for the 'wider development' of the site which would include room for the community library. Brent Council's Property Team would be responsible for construction and Preston Community Library for internal fixtures and fittings.
Former councillor James Powney, architect of the Libraries Transformation Project, has signalled his opposition to the deal, stating on his blog LINK, 'I think this raises a number of legal issues and I have written to the officers to that effect.'