LIBRARY closures could be on the cards as cash-strapped North Ayrshire Council look to make more savings in 2019.

The local authority have said that 'co-location' of libraries are being proposed in a forthcoming consultation which will also look at the future of community centres in the district.

With Fairlie Village Hall and West Kilbride Community Centre run by active community groups, the council say that the public will have a 'pivotal role' in the forthcoming consultation.

They say 'wide-ranging engagement' will be carried out in the coming weeks to determine how the services can best be delivered in years to come.

With council budgets coming under sustained pressure, the local authority says it wants to 'work alongside' communities in shaping the future of services.

A working group was set up last year to develop proposals for more effective ways of ensuring people continue to access services as resource to run them becomes more scarce.

Made up of elected members from all political groups on North Ayrshire Council, alongside North Ayrshire Federation of Community Organisations and Council Officers, the working group identified a range of themes and areas for discussion.

These include the potential relocation and co-location of libraries, their opening hours and exploring further recruiting volunteer support.

Currently, North Ayrshire has 26 community centres are operated by volunteers, with support from council staff, a spokesman said.

Some libraries in the area, such as Fairlie, pictured, have been in operation for over 110 years. A community wide campaign to save the library took place in 1996 when it was last under threat of closure, see picture below.

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The working group’s themes include further co-location of partner services within community centres where possible, alongside options for community asset transfers where possible, and the exploration of greater use of facilities to encourage community businesses.

Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Louise McPhater, said: “Residents will be well aware of the financial challenges faced by councils across Scotland.

"We have to find viable, economic solutions which allow us to continue to deliver the services people want.

“We are proud of the relationship with our communities and that’s why we want to them to play a key role in helping to shape the future of our libraries and community centres.”