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Visitors witness new chapter at Norton Library

Cllr Helen Swiers and Cllr Elizabeth Shields (seated) celebrate the success of Norton Hive Library and Community Hub.
Cllr Helen Swiers and Cllr Elizabeth Shields (seated) celebrate the success of Norton Hive Library and Community Hub.

Norton-on-Derwent Hive Library and Community Hub recently played host to some special visitors.

North Yorkshire County Council chair Cllr Helen Swiers visited the hive with colleagues to see the work of the volunteers and how they have been supported by the County Council’s Stronger Communities programme.

The visit is one of a series to projects around the county that have been supported by Stronger Communities.

Norton Hive Library and Community Hub is one of the libraries handed over to volunteer management by the council in April last year.

Sarah Robinson, Stronger Communities delivery manager for Ryedale, has worked with the volunteer group, alongside library service colleagues for three years to help it become a charitable organisation and take on management of the library.

The hive now has a group of seven trustees and 35 volunteers, all of whom have gone through extensive training.

Garages behind the building have been converted into offices, which are now occupied by two tenants, helping to generate income for the group.

Opening hours have increased from 10 hours a week to 22 hours and footfall into the hive has increased by 70%.

Ryedale District Councillor Elizabeth Shields, chair of the trustees, said: “We have had some wonderful support from local people who have shared their expertise.

“The town council has been very supportive and we have used local firms to help us. We were delighted that Helen came. It was good for them to see what was going on.”

Cllr Swiers said: These visits give us a chance to see first-hand a little of the great work being done by these projects and so many others in North Yorkshire.

“It’s also a chance to thank volunteers for their efforts and to see how Stronger Communities is supporting them.”