Community groups ‘are fantastic’

Woodhouse Library, Tannery Street
Woodhouse Library, Tannery Street
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Community groups who have saved Sheffield’s threatened libraries have been hailed as ‘fantastic’.

Coun Mazher Iqbal, Sheffield Council cabinet member for communities and public health, said: “I’m delighted all of our libraries are on track to remain open and would like to thank the groups for their fantastic efforts.

“The business plans put forward set out a viable future for the libraries and we will support them by funding building running costs, providing access to the council’s library catalogue and computer service, helping train volunteers and providing ongoing advice and support.

“We wouldn’t be making these changes if we didn’t have to, but Government cuts are impacting on every service the council provides and we are no longer able to run all of the libraries as we were before.”

Libraries in Broomhill, Park, Southey and Woodhouse will be co-delivered with the council covering costs and volunteer staff getting up to 15 hours per week council support.

Nine associate libraries – in Ecclesfield, Frecheville, Gleadless, Greenhill, Jodanthorpe, Newfield Green, Stannington, Totley and Upperthorpe – will be maintained by volunteers with the council providing up to £262,000 each year for up to three years to enable them to get established.

Discussions are ongoing with two groups wanting to take over Walkley Library, and Burngreave Library has been granted an business plan extension.

The council continue to run Central Library, 11 hub libraries and Tinsley Library.