The Hub at Hungerford Library

Happy Birthday!

It is one year already since we opened the doors on

Hungerford Hub and look what a year it has been!
We have more visitors!

Not only has the Hub seen a growing programme of events and activities, the latest figures from WBC Library Service* show an encouraging 19% increase in library visitors and an 8% rise in book loans, reversing trends in previous years that had seen usage falling.

Improvements to our space

We are very pleased with our progress in making the Hub a space for the whole community, whether a library user or not. This year we have installed a new kitchen – thanks to Tesco’s Groundwork Community Fund. We have also purchased additional seating, giving a capacity of up to 100 people, plus new mobile book-shelves for the library service, enabling a more flexible use of the space.

Successful fundraising and increased revenue

Fundraising for the Hub goes from strength to strength via a variety of sources – from the generosity of the community through Sponsor a Brick to the support of Hungerford Town Council and The Good Exchange. We also receive revenue from the West Berks lottery fund and most recently, the Amazon Smile initiative.

This means that although running costs continue to grow, we are cautiously confident for the Hub’s future. Bookings are growing, with events such as author signings, music and language lessons, art workshops and more regularly filling the calendar.

TheCurve blossoms as a multi-use space

And now, with the development of TheCurve exhibition and retail space at the front of the building, we can offer local artists a platform for showing their work. Launched last December with an exhibition followed by a pop-up shop, TheCurve immediately proved successful both in terms of raising funds for the Hub and visitors it attracted. In between exhibitions the space can still be hired for workshops or as a private working/meeting space, and continues to be used as an outreach office by Citizens Advice, The Registrar, etc.

Join our team of volunteers!

None of this would have been achieved without our amazing volunteers who have given so much time and energy to making the Hub an asset to the town. If you would like to be involved – perhaps just a few hours helping at events or as one of the team that makes it all happen – please contact our Hub Manager (details below).

And of course, we must also acknowledge the support of the people of Hungerford who have visited our pop-up shops, attended workshops and generally cheered us on. Thank you!

Useful stuff to know –

Need a venue? The main space within the Hub can be outside of library operating hours; charges start at £30 for a three-hour block. TheCurve is available to hire every day of the week; charges start at £15 for a three-hour block; weekend hire (Friday – Sunday) is £80. Click here to find out more.

Want to know what’s on in the Hub? Click here to find out or pick up a leaflet in the Hub or speak to a member of the WBC library team.

For bookings or for more information about Hungerford Hub, please contact Andrea, Hub Manager, on 07512 076150 or at hungerfordhub@gmail.com

* figures for the second quarter (April-June) of 2019 compared with same period in 2018.



WHAT IS HUNGERFORD HUB?

Remember in 2016 when the libraries across Berkshire were threatened with closure? At best most remained open but with much-reduced staffing levels. Hungerford’s library was in that position, but the Friends of Hungerford Library didn’t think that was enough; they felt that Hungerford deserved a full library service and if anything, an extended one!

After lengthy discussions between Hungerford Town Council, West Berks Council and Friends of Hungerford Library, a deal was reached; if the community of Hungerford could take on the running costs and maintenance of the building which housed the library, WBC would use the savings made to fund a full library service team.

In June of last year, the building formally became the responsibility of Hungerford Library & Community Trust (HCLT), a charity established to act as guardians of the building. WBC continue to provide the library service – the books, the computers, the staff – but the building is maintained by HCLT.

Hungerford Hub is the result. Friends of Hungerford Library are now the Hub team and together with a band of volunteers, are working hard to not only raise funds but to also introduce a programme of events that will involve the community and ultimately see the building open seven days a week. We are working towards this by –
equipping the Hub as a venue for commercial hire;
organising workshops, classes and social events;
providing a permanent space for exhibitions and pop-up shops;
seeking funding in the form of grants to cover capital costs; we were recently awarded £4,000 from Tesco’s bag scheme which we are using to install a new kitchen.

In order to keep a roof over our library, we must raise about £19,000 a year to keep the building open and this is where you can help:
Sponsor a Brick – see your name displayed on the wall in the Hub foyer;
consider the Hub as a venue for your event or exhibition;
attend an event at the Hub – learn something new, have fun, meet new friends;
SOON TO BE LAUNCHED: West Berkshire Lottery, starts on Saturday 30 March;
tickets for this weekly online lottery will cost £1, of which at least 50p goes to the Good Cause of your choice. Choose HLCT and you could help raise money towards our running costs and be in with a chance of winning £25,000!

To find out more about Hungerford Hub, go to hungerfordhub.com or follow our Facebook page (Friends of Hungerford Library).
The Hub Team

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