SEVEN communities set to lose core funding for their Libraries have submitted business plans to take on the facilities themselves.

In July last year Dorset County Council agreed to withdraw funding to nine of the county’s libraries in a bid to save £800,000.

However, the council offered to support any communities looking to take on the running of the libraries themselves to save them from closure.

Two of the libraries, those at Portland Underhill and Corfe Castle, have been unable to attract enough support to take on the facilities and are expected to close their doors.

A report going before the council’s cabinet tomorrow reveals that supporters of the other seven libraries at Chickerell, Puddletown, Wool, Burton Bradstock, Charmouth, Colehill and Stalbridge have all submitted business plans for the future running of the service.

Spokesman for the campaign group Ad Lib (the Association of Friends of Dorset Libraries) Mike Chaney said: “We are pleased that seven of the nine libraries look as though they are going to go ahead, which is quite good for the rural communities of Dorset.

“But it is really going to be hard work, we all know that.”

He added: “I’m delighted that so many people have come in behind this and, at a time when everyone is being asked to do more volunteering work and to take on more and more things, that a job like the library service should have attracted so much help.”

One area of contention could be additional support outside of that offered by the council already that the local communities have requested.

This includes funds for start-up costs, repairs and maintenance and will be considered at the Cabinet meeting.

The report states: “Business cases could be approved on the basis that the county council will provide the agreed package of support without any additional resource support.

“This brings the risk that some local communities may feel that without any additional resource support from the county council, their plans to take on the responsibility for the building and for the provision of a non-core library service cannot progress.”

It also says: “There is no funding available to meet the additional needs over and above the agreed package of support that has been defined and costed.”

Mr Chaney said he hoped the cabinet would look at ways of providing the extra resources and said he also had concerns about the volunteers being given enough time to take on the libraries on the proposed handover date at the end of September.