A UNION which represents musicians around the world has joined the campaign to protect Kidderminster Library’s gallery.

Musicians’ Union activists said the library’s top floor gallery was the only publicly funded purpose built music venue in the area.

It came as the Friends of Kidderminster Library campaign group announced it had elected an acting committee which plans to meet with Worcestershire County Council .

Last month, in order to meet with art groups, the council withdrew a planning application which would have seen the gallery and Steinway piano make way for offices for social services staff.

Both the Friends and the union, however, have warned plans are “merely on hold” and council chiefs say its libraries and learning service still needs to save £1.8 million.

Musicians’ Union Midlands organiser Alice Lemon said: “Kidderminster Library is just one example of how the cuts are affecting performers and audiences.

“Live music provides innumerable benefits to performers, audiences and communities alike, not least in the income generated by the performance and adjoining activities, services and culture in the surrounding environment.”

Stephen Brown, Friends member, said the group would present ideas to the council, including the possibility of becoming a charity or voluntary body to run the gallery.

“We need to remain vigilant,” he added. “An acting committee has been elected to look at a proper constitutional position.

“This allows us to deal with the council, apply for funding, look at gallery management and retain and promote it.”

County councillor with responsibility for libraries, Conservative John Campion , said he would be happy to meet with either group.

“We in the service would be happy to meet with them,” he said. “There have already been meetings with several groups across the county and these will continue. We welcome any input.”