A council has agreed to refurbish office rooms above a library as a community group looks to make best use of the building.
There are currently five empty offices above Deepings Library, which together make up Wade House in High Street, Market Deeping.
The rooms in the Georgian building have been empty for about 10 years. As a result Lincolnshire County Council, which owns the building, has been losing out on income.
The Friends of Deepings Library was set up to look into the possibility of running the library once the county council decided to pull its funding in December.
That decision was overturned by a judicial review. But while the council decides what it will do next, the Friends have been trying to persuade the authority to make use of the abandoned rooms.
And it now seems as though the Friends have been successful.
The council’s chief property officer Kevin Kendall said: “Over the next 12 months, we’ll be undertaking some routine maintenance and improvement works at the building, which will include upgrading the electrics and heating, and replacing windows and decoration.”
Chairman of the Friends Liz Waterland said it was “seriously good news” that the council had agreed to update the offices. She added: “Nothing has been done to the building for at least 17 years (in the memory of one of the staff) and the neglect of our lovely Grade 2 listed building was becoming something of a scandal.
“We are also pleased that the empty offices on the first floor are to be re-furbished for letting after being left empty by the council for 10 years, during which time valuable income was lost to the library. We await news of the start and long-stop dates.”
The Friends held a fundraising concert for the library earlier in the summer, and hope to hold more events later in the year.
The council was forced to take a second look at plans to cut £2m from its £6m libraries budget following the judicial review, which was brought by campaign group Save Lincolnshire Libraries.
The group successfully argued that the council’s initial consultation was flawed and the council failed to properly consider a proposal by Greenwich Leisure to run the whole library service.