A GROUP of campaigners in Grappenhall have been handed the keys to the village library – nine months after it closed.

The Friends of Grappenhall Library, a group of volunteers, won the right to take ownership of the building after the council closed it as part of budget cuts.

And on Friday the group was given the keys to the Victoria Avenue building.

Sheelagh Connelly, who ran the Amsterdam Marathon to help raise funds for the library, said being handed the keys meant the real hard work would now begin.

She added: “We are getting a couple of teams in to get it ready to open as a community library as soon as possible.

“It has been worth all the hard work but it really does start now.

“We already have a good mix of 3,500 books to fill the library from fiction to non-fiction and adult to children’s.”

The campaigners have already managed to collect money to help pay for some of the building work needed such as disabled toilets and a new entrance, but it should be able to open soon after a tidy up.

They hope to offer events and classes for pensioners and young people to keep the community side of the facilities running.

“We are well on our way to getting enough money so that we are entitled to match funding to allow us to pay for the necessary building work,” Sheelagh said.