A CONSULTATION about a new 'world-class' visitor experience in the Lake District saw residents voice their concerns about the future of their local library.

Windermere Library was packed with uneasy locals as they met with members of the Lake District Paradise Project (LDPP) who house the 'From Auschwitz to Ambleside' exhibition on the building's first floor.

The LDPP aims to create a top attraction in the town, commemorating the links between the national park and the 300 child Holocaust survivors who settled at the Calgarth Estate, Troutbeck Bridge, in 1945.

Director Trevor Avery said there was potentially a 'seven-figure sum' available to expand and modernise the museum within the library building.

But the feeling among locals was that it placed the library itself, and the community groups that use the building, and the surrounding Ellerthwaite Gardens, in jeopardy.

Windermere resident Carol Gamble and her husband Elwyn were wary of anything too comercial being introduced to the site.

She said: "It's important to retain the library or even make it bigger, we don't want a major comercial development.

"I think they should keep the building as it is and just make this part (the upstairs museum) better without impacting the library."

David Cooke, of Bowness, added: "There's a story going round that the building is going to be knocked down.

"My opinion is the whole estates need to be retained and built upon. If it's made bigger and better then that's fantastic."

Mr Avery, however, moved to suppress any fears that the library building was in any danger.

"Where we are is not fit for purpose," he said. "In 2007, there was a plan to develop the basement here. We're revisiting that plan to develop the basement with an extension into the car park which would open up a lot of space in the whole building.

"The library and services will be remaining. Nobody is going to knock down the building or build on and gardens."