IT’S as if I’ve been given a new lease of life, says one woman thrilled that her local library has been revamped.

Margaret Ellory, 82, has praised the Stratton St Margaret Parish Council for taking over the running of the Beechcroft Road library and vowing to turn it into a “thriving community hub”.

Margaret was last year left devastated after hearing that the newly-named Beechcroft Library could be closed for good.

But since the parish council in July decided to take it over from the borough, Margaret is delighted to hear councillors’ “exciting” plans for the building.

The intention is for the library to be turned into a community hub, providing vital resources for residents in Upper Stratton.

Margaret, who has lived in Upper Stratton for the past 16 years, said: “I think it’s wonderful that this service, which is of vital importance to the people of Stratton, is to be kept open.

“Not only that, to hear that it will be used as a community space for anyone to use is marvellous – such good news.”

Speaking about the parish council’s plan for the library at the opening ceremony earlier this month, Joe Tray, chairman of the Stratton St Margaret Parish Council, said: “We hope that people will use it for all kinds of things, whether to pop in for a coffee, to get advice from the police or the fire service or, simply, to read a book.

“We feel that we are very Grange Leisure-centric, and for too long the people of Upper Stratton have not had access to a suitable community centre, but we hope to change that.”

Margaret has visited the library twice since its grand reopening, and she was more than slightly impressed with what she saw.

“I think they are really making an effort to turn it into something special,” said the grandmother of seven.

“It’s a big responsibility to take on something like this, but if they can get it right then it will be a great thing for people around here.”

The parish council needs to raise £10,000 to keep it going for the next year, and they have appealed to residents and businesses to help in any way they can.