VOLUNTEERS are flocking to help create a new library which could be a blueprint for boosting literacy across the Bradford district.

When closure of Idle Library was announced just over two years ago, community action group Inspired Neighbourhoods, chaired by ward Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, saw it as an opportunity to make a purpose-built new amenity.

Grants and funding were secured to transform the site of a disused Methodist church on Albion Road, replacing it with a state-of-the art building incorporating seven business units above enough space for public meeting rooms and a library.

A total of £1.4 million in European Union cash and loans paid for the Wright Watson Enterprise Centre and now its new library shelves are being stocked with hundreds of books.

"Libraries have got to meet the modern needs of the community," said Cllr Sunderland, (Lib Dem, Thackley and Idle).

"And in a city where 50 per cent of children don't achieve five A to C grades at GCSE assets like libraries are desperately needed to raise educational achievement.

"We have superfast broadband and will providing support for homework with books linked to local school curriculums and also support such as teaching parents how to read to children."

Cllr Sunderland said there had been a great surge of support for the new venture, which has just received its shelves and furniture.

"We have already recruited a large number of people who want to help in a variety of ways with at least 30 local folk, women and men.

"We are going to get all our volunteers together and see just how they want the library to be.

"As well as being a library, it's a big, flexible space and now we are just waiting for the arrival of all our books and for Bradford Council to connect up all the computer.

"They will be free for everyone to use and get onto the Internet and we also have WiFi throughout the building."

She said the seven business units would provide revenue to fund a range of projects.

"The library has a touch screen system so people can take out or order books much as you might use a self-service checkout at Morrisons and we also have a scheme for sub-libraries.

"Care homes, youth groups or churches can have their own sub-libraries where they can take out up to a couple of hundred books a week from us on one ticket.

"A very good thing is that none of the staff from the old library lost their jobs and will be relocating to Eccleshill Library.

"There is a massive need for libraries and I thing the council is being really unfair to suddenly announce possible closures.

"It took us two and a half years to bring this about and you have to listen and respond to your community's needs," she said.