THE newly-reopened Norton library and community hub has extended its opening hours and is appealing for more volunteers.

Norton Hive, which opened last month following a major refurbishment, is now open 22 hours a week, compared to the previous 10.

Marion Simpson, from the Norton Community Library Group, said: “Following major refurbishment carried out by an excellent team of volunteers and the expertise of Mike Spencer and his team from Harrison and Hargreaves, Norton Hive - Library and Community Hub - is now up and running.

“A big thank you to all who have made this possible, but don’t just take my word for it, come in and have a look for yourselves. Enjoy a cup of coffee while visiting the library and see what we have to offer.

“Our library is now a colourful and inviting space. We have an excellent team of volunteers who have worked hard since our opening to ensure that the library continues to offer everything that it offered before and more.”

Colin Davis, who has been volunteering at the library for two weeks, said: “It has been really enjoyable. It’s been great to be part of a team – they are a lovely friendly bunch of people.”

“I enjoy the challenge of learning new things in the new and fresh environment. It keeps my mind active.”

Fellow volunteer Tony Horsfield said “It’s a good way of meeting the community and knowing I am helping.”

Ryedale District Councillor Elizabeth Shields, who chairs the Norton Community Library Group, said work had now started on converting the library’s garage into two meeting rooms which would help generate revenue.

“We are aiming to do the work without too much disruption and it is encouraging that we already have one local group who are interested in using the rooms,” she said.

“We have also extended the opening hours from 10 to 22, including a late-night opening on Tuesday to 7pm to enable students to use the facility.

“When North Yorkshire County Council first proposed the cuts to library services Norton’s future was not even being considered. However, due to the hard work of everyone involved, we have managed to keep out library open and turn it into an excellent community centre which I am sure more and more people will use.”

Anyone who is interested in becoming a volunteer should contact Marion Simpson on 01653 228798 or Trish Herbert 01653 on 690535.