A LIBRARY in Somerset is re-opening today (June 28) following an extensive refurbishment.

Shepton Mallet Library now has improved areas for children and young people, new furniture, and versatile shelving so rooms can be changed for events.

It will also have longer opening hours and increased staff resources.

Somerset County Council (SCC) worked with Shepton Mallet Town Council (SMTC) and 7 Starlings Community Interest Company to agree a new model for the library.

READ MORE: Shepton Mallet library set to receive 'substantial makeover' in the Spring

There was a public campaign to keep the library in its current location and so SMTC agreed to invest £15,000 per year for five years.

Somerset County Gazette: Shepton Mallet Library. Pic: Google Maps

As well as this, Glastonbury Festival creator Michael Eavis agreed to contribute £8,000 per year for five years.

Councillor David Hall, SCC cabinet member with responsibility for libraries, said: “The new town centre community spaces this project has developed will make a huge difference to Shepton Mallet.

"It is such an achievement which has been made possible by working with partners to get a solution that will really benefit the local community.

“We hope to see many regular and new library users come in and take advantage of the new things on offer.

"The library is sure to become a vibrant, welcoming space for everyone.”

The 7 Starlings will be promoting use of the library during evenings, weekends and outside regular opening hours during the week.

Kate Lovell, chair, added: “This is a wonderful opportunity to bring community activities into the heart of the town centre.

"It is an inspiring example of what can be achieved by groups and individuals working together with a common purpose for the enrichment of our whole community.”

The development is a significant part of the wider regeneration of the town centre being championed by SMTC.

Matt Harrison, chair of SMTC, said: “The town council’s financial investment is evidence that we see our library as critical in playing a central part in our town’s life; not just physically but educationally and culturally too.

"The innovative way various groups and the community have come together to make this happen just shows what the Shepton community can achieve when it works together.”