Villagers turned out in force on Friday eager to take a look at Pewsey’s new £900,000 library that came in on time and on budget.

The building was opened by Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott, who said she was sure the library would be well used by the community.

The new library, built on the site of the old one behind the Bouverie Hall car park, is bigger and better than families in the area had expected thanks to Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for libraries John Thomson. He halted the original plans at the last minute in February and asked for a bigger building with better facilities.

Coun Scott said she was delighted to hand over to the people of the Pewsey Vale not only a new library but much more than that because the amended design includes the first personal care room in a library in Wiltshire – offering washing and changing facilities for adults and children with severe disabilities – and rooms where council staff can meet villagers by appointment to discuss a range of problems and issues.

The bigger library has yards more shelves with 3,000 more books than the building it replaced. Local people helped choose the books by filling in suggestion forms and attending a workshop.

Coun Scott said: “I am delighted to be here to open this new library with its additional facilities that people have said they would like to see.

“I am sure it will be welcomed and well used by the local community.”

Pewsey’s county councillor Jerry Kunkler said some people had doubted that the library would be built after Coun Thomson called a halt to the original plans just as the contractors were about to start work.

Coun Kunkler said: “The people of Pewsey have been given a library to be proud of at a time when many other communities have seen facilities close because of the cut-backs.”

Parish councillor Phil Stevens likened the new library to “an early Christmas present for everyone in the Pewsey area”.

Former librarian Mary Cook said thanks were due to Glenda O’Connor, community librarian for Marlborough and Pewsey, and her staff especially the Pewsey librarians Kathryn Hutchinson and Nikki Brennan for keeping the service going in a mobile library since the old building closed in April and for getting the new building stocked against the odds when electricity was connected only days before Friday’s opening.

The library has free internet access and will be open five days a week including Saturday mornings and until 8pm Tuesdays.