New chapter is opening as pubs launch libraries

Ben Edwards Area Manager of Withy Arms Group
Ben Edwards Area Manager of Withy Arms Group
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A pint and a paperback . . . a pub group has stepped in following local library closures to offer bookworms a place to visit.

The initiative has come from pub operators the Withy Arms Group, which has pubs in Leyland and Bamber Bridge.

Ben Edwards, area manager of the group, has set up a book exchange within the Withy Arms, Station Road, Bamber Bridge, to help to those affected by the closures.

And the Withy Arm, Worden Lane, Leyland, is set to follow suit soon.

Ben said: “We have been approached by a large group of about twenty five bookworms who have lost their home due to the library closing at Bamber Bridge.

“We now open our pub at Bamber Bridge every month to facilitate their meetings and we wanted to help further, so I decided to bring in a book exchange in the corner of the pub. It has been greatly received. I think it’s important for community pubs to help to provide some type of facilities when the council lets down the local community by closing the library.”

Lee Forshaw, of the Withy Arms, Leyland, said: “Because of the success in Bamber Bridge we will be rolling our book exchange idea out to the Leyland pub in the coming weeks. So you be able to read a book have a pint in the best beer garden in Leyland and enjoy life. We are just looking at buying some more book shelves for the Leyland pub.”

Lancashire County Council announced last year it was closing a whole host of libraries after it was hit with severe funding cuts, although the newly elected Tory administration says it plans to halt the cuts.