AROUND 200 people attended the official opening of Silsden Community Library on Saturday.

Town mayor Peter Robinson and Keighley MP John Grogan joined residents as the popular facility reopened in the town hall.

The politicians chatted with members of the steering group that came forward to keep the library open after it fell victim to public spending cuts.

The library, formerly run by Bradford Council, will now be staffed by a team of more than 60 volunteers.

The library was for many years housed in its own building in nearby Wesley Place but moved to Silsden Town Hall in 2013.

The council then announced that Silsden library would be one of several to close in April this year unless volunteers came forward to take over.

The library reopened on June 5 as a community asset after local volunteers were trained. The council is continuing to provide books and other library services, and pay rental costs.

Mr Grogan, speaking during the event, described Silsden Town Hall as a precious building and said it had opened in the late 19th century as a Mechanics Institute which incorporated the first library in the town.

He said: “Now more than a hundred years later it is magnificent that the library in the same building is reopening.

“The 60-plus volunteers who have come forward show the strength of community spirit in the town.

“Bradford Council, who will continue to pay the rental costs of the library, have played a key role in supporting and training the volunteers.

“The next big challenge is to secure the future of the town hall itself and I will be meeting the Friends of Silsden Town Hall over the summer to discuss this.”

Mr Grogan also quoted American writer Sidney Sheldon during the opening, stating: “'Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore and achieve, and contribute to improving our quality of life. Libraries change lives for the better.”

During the opening ceremony, the ribbon was cut by the youngest borrower, 13-month-old Ryan Perry, who was accompanied by his mother Cheryl Gaukroger and the most senior borrower, Irene Atkinson.

The opening event also included a display of local artwork inspired by the Tour de Yorkshire, along with children’s activities, but-borrowing and refreshments.

Members of the library committee include chairman Peter Cannon, treasurer Sue Moore, secretary Caroline Whitaker, Katie Whittingham, Jennie Winterburn, Mike Batty, Bridget Rout, Julie Holland and Val Goddard.