THE BULGARIAN village of Menenkyovo lost its library in a fire back in 2016.

Now the local community’s efforts to rebuild and re-equip the facility have received a £1,000 boost from an unlikely source - the town of Otley.

Former Otley town mayor Councillor Nigel Francis (Ind, Danefield) is a regular visitor to Bulgaria and decided, when he heard about the library’s loss, to do something to help.

So during his 2017-18 mayoral year Cllr Francis made the Menenkyovo library one of the 15 charities that he raised funds for.

He has now presented £1,000 (from the total £31,000 he raised) to the Town Mayor of Menenkyovo.

He said: “In 2016 I was shocked to see that the library in Menenkyovo had caught fire and had been burnt out completely.

“It was a pillar of the community, housing not only a collection of books but also a small concert and meeting room. As I stay in the neighbouring village when I visit, I wanted to help raise something to donate to the effort to recover from the disaster.

“I was delighted to make a donation of more than 2,000 Lev (£1,000) to their town mayor on a recent visit. He thanked me and promised that the money will be put to good use in the new library.”