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CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

More support for community-managed libraries

Around £60,000 from contingency fund to help them through pandemic

books stacked together

Cabinet members will be updated next week on how community-managed libraries affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are being supported.

They will discuss a report which confirms an additional one-off grant towards the libraries’ running costs, on top of the existing contributions which the county council is making as part of its overall financial support.

The grant of nearly £60,000 will support the 35 community-managed libraries  emerging from the pandemic, with many of them being community hubs supporting the needs of local people.

Since setting up, the people supporting the community libraries have worked enormously hard to generate income through coffee shops, room hire and other activities.

We know that income has been greatly affected, but the libraries are showing tremendous resilience as they recover from closure during the pandemic, so we’ll be looking for Cabinet to endorse this additional funding to help their position

The report to Cabinet estimates, from an analysis of submitted accounts, that for community-managed libraries, as a whole, around £3,000 per week of income is being lost due to the pausing of services because of the Covid pandemic.

The county council has supported the community libraries with a package of measures since they were launched back in 2015, including support with some running costs, with the contributions reducing over seven years.

A contingency fund was also established to assist any community group in the event of an emergency, or where income streams are adversely affected, and the £58,000 being made available is coming from the fund.

The report also outlines that the council has encouraged community libraries to make bids for Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality government grants, with 19 libraries receiving support ranging from £10,000 to £25,000.

 The report will be discussed by Cabinet on Friday, 18th September at 11am, the meeting can be viewed at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/webcast

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