A KNITTING group which has raised hundreds of pounds for charity fears it may never be able to repeat the feat because of the closure of Tottington Library.

The library’s ‘Knit and Natter’ group, which meets on Mondays from 2pm to 4pm, raised £300 for Bury Hospice recently.

But with the announcement that the library in Market Street will close as part of Bury Council’s shake-up of library services across the borough, members fear they will be left with nowhere to go.

The knitters meet every week and over the last 12 months, thanks to donated wool, have made toys, baby jackets, pumpkins at Hallowe'en and Santa Claus dolls at Christmas, along with figures of footballers, ballerinas and more.

They sold them off at the library to raise the impressive amount for the Rochdale Old Road charity.

“It's very disappointing,” said Jillian Percival, who started the group a couple of years ago.

“The library isn't just about borrowing books but it's a community centre as well.

“We meet there, there is an ancestry group, flower arranging group, a games afternoon and more all of which will have nowhere to go once Tottington Library closes.

“It's such a shame.”

The group’s predicament shows the on-the-ground effects which the council’s library closures will have on the community.

The council announced last month that the majority of the borough’s libraries – 10 if not 11 of 14 – will close.

Council leaders put forward two options for members to vote on after a public consultation period.

The first option, which represents the bare minimum of services the council must legally provide, would see the closure of all libraries in the borough except Bury Library and archives, Ramsbottom Library and Prestwich Library.

The second option, which is the council’s preferred proposal, would in addition see the saviour of Radcliffe Library.

Either option results in the closure of Tottington Library.

Bury Council has said it would improve services and extend opening hours at the remaining libraries, which are all accessible to residents in under 30 minutes by public transport.

The closures are part of a savings drive by Bury Council, which has been told it must make cuts of over £30m by 2020.

Cllr Sandra Walmsley, cabinet member for strategic housing and support services, said: “The council remains fully committed to retaining a high quality library service, but there will need to be changes.

“Despite this, we will continue to provide a service that meets our legal duties and supports the aspirations of residents of all ages for development of reading skills for the youngest, lifelong learning and access to books and information.”