A closure-threatened village library has begun a new chapter after being taken over by a team of community volunteers.

Wilsden Community Library, based at the Village Hall in Townfield, was officially opened yesterday by Bradford councillor Baroness Margaret Eaton, following a campaign to keep it open.

Its closure was announced last year, along with four others across the district, to save £70,000 of taxpayers’ money following cuts in last year’s Council budget.

Since then, villagers have set up a steering group to recruit and train a team of about ten volunteers to keep it open for lending and internet services.

About 100 people attended the ceremony yesterday, when Baroness Eaton cut the ribbon to declare the new library officially open.

Simon Dickerson, a parish councillor and chairman of the Wilsden Community Library Steering Group, said: “We are extremely pleased that we have had so much support from the village.

“Part of the launch event was to promote the library to people who will be using it and the first signs are that people are willing to support it. We want to build on that.”

Wilsden library was earmarked for closure along with others in Addingham, Wrose, Heaton and Denholme.

Community groups have now taken over control of Addingham, Denholme and Wrose libraries, but Heaton’s has been replaced with a mobile service after the community failed to find a viable alternative to keep it open.

All the public libraries earmarked for closure were the most underused in the district.

Mr Dickerson said: “There were a lot of protests when the library closures were announced. We had more than 60 people volunteer to help us out which, for a small village, is a large number.

“Bradford Libraries service is still supporting Wilsden but is not funding it in any way or providing any staff, so we put out a request for volunteers this year, when the closure was confirmed and had a marvellous response.”

Wilsden library will be open on Tuesdays from 9.15am to 7pm. However, Mr Dickerson said the steering group was now looking to expand the service.

Christine Dyson, Bradford Council’s principal libraries officer for outreach and development, said: “Bradford Libraries will continue to supply new books to Wilsden and support the volunteers to develop activities such as storytimes and online learning.”