Six Shropshire libraries to share almost a quarter of a million pounds

Six Shropshire libraries will receive almost a quarter of a million pounds in Arts Council funding that bosses say will help make them more accommodating and accessible.

Shrewsbury Library is one of six Shropshire libraries to share the cash
Shrewsbury Library is one of six Shropshire libraries to share the cash

Shropshire Council's library service is one of 27 services nationwide to receive a share of £4.9m in funding.

Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton and Whitchurch libraries will share £236,950 of Arts Council England funding, which has been awarded from the Government's Libraries Improvement Fund.

The fund has granted £4.9 million to 27 library services to invest in a range of projects to upgrade buildings and technology so they are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.

Shropshire Council's boost will be used to purchase one-to-one interview pods with supporting technology, enabling private consultations with the public, both face-to-face or online.

It will also fund new mobile shelving to create flexible space to accommodate health and wellbeing sessions.

Rob Gittins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said: “We are delighted that six Shropshire libraries are going to benefit from Arts Council England funding following a successful bid by our libraries team.

“Our vision is for library services in Shropshire to be at the heart of our communities, making connections to enhance and improve people’s lives.

“We are making it our mission to provide physical and digital library services and spaces that inspire people’s learning, imagination and discovery, to connect and fulfil an individual’s potential, health and wellbeing, and articulate the value of library services to our communities.

“Our library service always seeks new opportunities to support the council’s wider ambitions to build resilient and prosperous communities; reflecting how we are all living and our developing community partnerships.

“This grant will allow us to use space in the libraries more actively and support a range of services.”

The boost comes from the second round of funding from the Government's pledge to provide £20.5m of grants through the Libraries Improvement Fund.

The first round saw £5m provided to 25 projects nationwide. Applications from local authorities for the third and final round will open in April.

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