It has been nearly three years since a group of volunteers backed by local charity Bold Vision took over the running of the former New Cross Library, and turned it into New Cross Learning which has a full Lewisham Library service with 5,000 books, and offers community internet access – and much more besides.
Dedicated volunteers, supporters, and charities including the New Cross Gate Trust, Deptford City Challenge Trust and local ward assemblies have supplied funds and backing to keep New Cross Learning open and build supporter numbers through new activities like our popular Baby Bounce. Today we get on average between 5,000 and 6,000 people coming in each month and New Cross Learning is now open 4 days a week rather than 3.
The terms of the lease allow for New Cross Learning to use the Council-owned premises with money from the council for necessary repairs; New Cross Learning must however fund its own operating costs for heating, electricity, water, rent and rates.
New Cross Learning is already on the road to becoming self-sufficient on operating costs through our annual auction, sales of kindly donated books and printing sales – and we also encourage people to make regular monthly donations.
“We are delighted to get the lease, and grateful to Lewisham Council and all the supporters for working with us to make this happen”, said Catherine Shovlin who negotiated the lease for Bold Vision and brought it into New Cross Learning this week.
“This is excellent news for New Cross Learning and for our supporters, because people now know we will be open for the next two years. We are now going to be able to apply to funding bodies because of this certainty about our future, as well as plan our activities”, said Gill Hart and Kathy Dunbar, New Cross Learning’s co-chairs.
“We are very pleased that the lease has now been signed and that the collaboration between Bold Vision, New Cross Learning and the Council continues to develop. Lewisham Library & Information Service will be supporting the valuable work that Bold Vision and New Cross Learning carry out to ensure that residents in the north of our borough have access to information, books, IT and a huge range of activities”, said Mayor of Lewisham, Sir Steve Bullock.
New Cross Learning has a summer programme of activities including the Summer Reading Challenge and Mystery Walks and Picnics. We are also always on the lookout for more volunteers who either have specialist skills or who want to do a regular couple of hours a week on the library’s front desk.
Notes to Editors
New Cross Learning (formerly known as the New Cross People’s Library) is a community-run space offering a library service and a bookshop as well as a wide range of learning activities, supported by registered charity Bold Vision. Among our major donors is the New Cross Gate Trust. NXL is wholly volunteer-run.
What do we do?
New Cross Learning provides free computer/internet use, Wifi, newspapers and magazines. We offer a full Lewisham Library service. NXL has desk spaces to work, and we also run learning activities and workshops. You can read more about us here https://newxlearning.org/
Bold Vision is a community led organisation working to make Telegraph Hill an even more amazing place to live. http://www.boldvision.org.uk/about/home/