Reopening libraries

The cabinet has made the decision to reopen libraries which closed last year, wherever possible.

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  • Cleveleys library
    On 14 September, the Cabinet approved in principle the community asset transfer of Cleveleys library to the community organisation UR Potential. UR Potential proposes to establish an independent community-run library, make the buildings available for community use and provide opportunities for learning and activities to reduce social isolation. 
  • Adlington library
    The Friends of Adlington Library has decided to withdraw its application for an asset transfer. The Cabinet  formally decided on 14 September that the county council will continue to run the library when current arrangements, which see Chorley Borough Council fund the library, end in March 2018. The county council will continue to work with the Friends of Adlington Library as they carry on with their efforts to maximise the use of the library in the future.
  • Bamber Bridge library
    Progress is being made towards deciding the future of Bamber Bridge library. The First Bamber Bridge Scout Group had applied for a community asset transfer (CAT) to use the building as their headquarters. The county council has now asked the Scouts to also consider operating an independent community-run library. The group will make a decision at their AGM at the end of September. Depending upon the Scouts' decision, the Cabinet will then decide in October whether to agree in principle the CAT or reopen Bamber Bridge library as part of the county council's library service.

For more information view the report to Cabinet 14 September 2017.

The other libraries set to reopen are: Barrowford, Bolton-le-Sands, Burnley Campus, Freckleton, Fulwood, Lostock Hall, Oswaldtwistle, Parbold, Silverdale, Thornton and Whalley which will be run by the county council. In addition, progress is being made to establish independently community-run libraries at Crawshawbooth, Penwortham (in the former young people's centre), Pike Hill and Trawden.

Another seven libraries will require further consideration. Three former libraries cannot be reopened in their former premises since leases for two buildings have been surrendered and the ownership of one building has been transferred to a school but further consideration will be given to future options. Find out more about the decisions made.

Full council has approved an additional £1.654 million to the 2017/18 revenue budget in order to meet the running costs of re-opening closed libraries. An additional £1.571 million was also agreed which will be needed for necessary building works and associated costs to enable the closed libraries to re-open. For more information about the decisions made see information and reports from Full Council.

As part of preparations to reopen these libraries activities will include carrying out work to improve the condition of some buildings, recruiting and training staff, reconnecting ICT and other infrastructure and reallocating book stock. Building surveys are already underway and the next step will be to produce a detailed timeline for libraries reopening. Whilst some require minimal work in order to reopen, at this stage we're anticipating that most will reopen between this November and April next year.

48 libraries are currently open, 47 run by the county council and one independent community-run library run by Mercer 1842 at the Arthur Wilson Centre, Hyndburn, using the book stock and resources from the former Clayton-le-Moors library.

Independent community-run libraries

Where communities want to run their own library, we've offered a package of support to help them become established. This would include giving them a one-off payment of £5,000 to provide public internet access and cover set-up costs and providing shelving and an initial supply of books. A community library manager has been appointed to offer advice and guidance, including having an appropriate constitution, gaining charitable status, fund raising, setting milestones, stock management and training volunteers. The post is for a fixed term of two years.


Related information