TOTTINGTON’s new village library has officially opened.

The town's library was one of ten across the borough which Bury Council announced it was closing last year in order to cut costs.

Following the announcement, a group of dedicated volunteers was formed, the Friends of Tottington Library, in an attempt to save it from permanent closure.

Led by Tottington councillor Yvonne Wright, the group have spent the past few months working tirelessly to raise funds and recruit more volunteers to run the library, which will now be called Tottington Centre and Community Library.

Cllr Wright and fellow Tottington ward councillor Ian Gartside and Greg Keeley, even released their own rap video in an attempt to encourage residents to get involved in volunteering.

In January, the council confirmed they had agreed to lease the building to the group.

And after a new lick of paint and the refurbishment of several rooms, the new centre opened to the public yesterday with a ceremony attended by volunteers, members of the community and dignitaries, including the Mayor of Bury Cllr Dorothy Gunther.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr Wright said: "This has been the biggest challenge of the 18 years I have been a councillor, but it's given me the most satisfaction to see we have been able to save this facility for the people of Tottington.

"It's a lifeline for this village. It's very precious to a lot of people who live here and we would not accept its closure."

Following a makeover, a tea room has been added and a number of rooms have been made available for hire, with classes already taking place including yoga, pilates and knit and natter.

The building still contains a library with more than 700 books and will offer a books on wheels service to residents. Two upstairs conference rooms, the Bronte and Dickens Rooms, have also been refurbished.

The group, which has now amassed more than 60 volunteers and about 300 members, have been told it will cost them more than £22,000 a year to run the centre, which they hope to raise via a number of fundraising events.

Tottington High School pupil Owen Sheen is one of those who has given up his free time to help save the library.

The 14-year-old, who lives in Walshaw, has helped clean the building and has even got his hands dirty attending to the outside garden.

Of the new-look centre, he said: "It's really good for young people like me. We can come here after school and do our homework, or use the computers.

"It will be good to come with friends, especially with the park just round the corner."

Residents are able to become a member at the centre for £2.50.

For more information, including details of room hire at the centre, visit or email