Green light for plans to reopen Lancashire libraries

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Libraries in Lancashire will get a new lease of life after Lancashire County Council agreed plans to reopen some of those closed last year.

26 of the council's original 73 libraries were closed under the council's previous administration.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said:

"Libraries are a vital service at the heart of our communities, offering free access to books and information, as well as being a place where communities can get together.

"We've agreed to reopen libraries which were closed, as well as safeguarding full library services at six libraries which had been due to close or see the level of service reduced.

"A significant amount of activity will be needed to reopen the libraries which were closed. This will include building assessments and 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 November this year and April next year."

Proposals agreed by the council's cabinet will see the phased reopening of 14 libraries, nine of which will be run by the county council and five as independent community libraries. A full service will also be retained at 6 libraries which were due to close or offer a reduced service.

A report to the cabinet noted that three former libraries cannot be reopened since leases for two buildings have been surrendered, and the ownership of one building transferred to a school. The council will now consider options for providing services in the areas affected.

The cabinet also agreed to defer decisions relating to 12 other libraries to allow time for further consideration.

Tagged as: Libraries and Archives

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