Lee Hub - Opening for the whole community on 12 April 2021
It was 8 months ago that Hampshire County Council announced the closure of Lee Library. As the Chair of Trustees of Lee Hub - Independent Community Library (Lee Hub) it is important to recognise the dedication and determination of a small, but focused group, of individuals who have provided the Trustees with a firm base to establish Lee Hub as a valuable community asset that can be enjoyed by young and old. These are Paul Twine (Project Manager), Olivia Buckland, Kathy Froud, Jonathan Moore, Kathryn Smith and Nigel
Lee Hub Trustees formed a Board on 10 December 2020 to register Lee Hub as a Charity. We achieved charity status on 21 January 2021.
The Lee Hub Trustees thank Councillor Graham Burgess for facilitating the transfer of the building from Hampshire County Council to Gosport Borough Council and the valuable gift of the books, materials and the set-up grant from the County Council; additional grant funding from Councillor Burgess and Councillor Philpott to enable three enabling projects; Councillor John Beavis for his wise counsel and for connecting us with contacts in the area; Gosport Voluntary Action for valuable advice, support and guidance and in addition grants from the Community Infrastructure Levy and Community Lottery; Lee Residents Association for banking, articles and grant funding support; Lee Press “The Advertiser” for regular articles; Lee Business Association members and local businesses.
The Lee Hub Trustees want to express thanks and gratitude to the community of Lee-on-the-Solent and neighbouring areas who have supported the Lee Hub project through socially-distanced conversations, our website, social media, crowd-funding and private donations and by completing our surveys that has helped shape Lee Hub.
Lee Hub has signed the tenancy agreement and get the keys to the building on 1 April 2021. Commissioning work and the training of the volunteers that have signed up to support Lee Hub will begin ready for opening.
The proposed timetable (subject to Government guidelines) to deliver a service to the community is as
1 April 2021 – On-line membership of the charity opens – The Friends of Lee Hub;
12 April 2021 – Open our doors and provide a community lending library service and in-person membership (Strict Covid security will be in force to ensure we maintain a healthy and safe environment);
17 May 2021 – Commence the letting of space for community health & wellbeing programmes;
21 June 2021 – Open the community café for socialising over a tea or coffee;
31 July 2021 - Our Grand Opening event when we can all get together in the summer to champion the connections between Lee Hub, our local groups and businesses.
We now reach out to the community to sign up as members of the charity, to support the Lee Hub in keeping the doors open and making the most of this valuable community asset.
Further details can be found on our website www.leehub.co.uk
Chair of Trustees
Lee Hub - Independent Community Library
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation in England No.1193198
“The decision by Hampshire County Council to close Lee Library stimulated a meeting of minds who saw this disappointment as an opportunity to develop a community hub to continue the stewardship of Lee Library, which has served Lee-on-the-Solent for over 80 years. Through hard work to overcome many hurdles a dedicated team of volunteers and the Trustees have brought that opportunity to create Lee Hub to reality.”
Councillor Graham Burgess, Hampshire County Councillor - Lee Division & Gosport Borough Council – Lee East
“It is incredible to see the hard work and dedication that the Community of Lee-on-the-Solent demonstrated to save this valuable community asset. The Trustees will ensure that Lee Hub delivers its charitable objectives and provides valuable amenities for both young and old. The survival of Lee Hub will only happen through people signing up as friends of Lee Hub and generating funds through the letting of space, buying
refreshments in our Café and generously donating through crowdfunding, direct donations, Gosport Lottery and other events throughout the year.”
Chair of Trustees
Lee Hub – Independent Community Library
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