STRATTON residents can now borrow books from Grange Leisure Centre after the parish council introduced the new facility at a launch ceremony on Monday.

Stratton St Margaret Parish Council introduced the new facility – which will run on an honesty basis – after residents indicated a need for the service.

John Foley, chairman of the Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, said: “It was a really good event. It should provide a very good and much needed service to the parish.

“Residents have been coming to us for years saying that they want a library. There isn’t a library really in the area down there and not everybody can go out to the mobile library.

“Sometimes it’s there and a time which isn’t convenient and they just miss it. So it was definitely something that was needed. We approached Swindon Libraries and asked what they thought about putting a community library in Grange Leisure and they loved the idea, they jumped at it.

“So we set it up and now there are a selection of books that people can choose from.

“We will hopefully expand the library over time but I think it’s already quite popular. People had started to use it before it had been officially opened.”

Now, visitors can go to the Leisure Centre, browse through the 450 titles, and book it out in the available sign out book.

They then will have to sign it back in on their return.

But the library is unable to take returns from other Swindon Libraries.

Coun Keith Williams, cabinet member for corporate services and leisure, said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to support the parish council in providing additional library provision for people in Stratton.

“Library collections in community centres have been very successful in other towns and cities and it is a blueprint which can work very well, particularly if there is strong demand for the service.

“I look forward to seeing how th6p16is new service develops and I would urge people in Stratton to visit the collection for themselves.”