Meeting set to decide fate of music and drama library

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SHEFFIELD Council representatives will lobby to secure the future of the threatened Yorkshire Music and Drama Library at a meeting today.

Members of the committee which oversees the library, funded by councils across Yorkshire and the Humber, are gathering this afternoon to discuss what should happen to the service.

It follows a decision by councils in North Yorkshire to stop providing funding.

Sheffield Council yesterday received a petition signed by 421 people objecting to any move to close the library.

The facility, based in Wakefield, costs more than £100,000 a year to run.

The petition opposing the move was supported by members of eight Sheffield musical societies.

It was presented to a full meeting of the council by Jim Cowley, of Sterndale Singers, who rehearse at St Mark’s Church, Broomhill.

Mr Cowley said: “The library has 500,000 items of music and 90,000 play scripts. It also purchases scripts from recent shows which individual groups could not afford.

“The library is very valuable to local groups and is well-used.”

Coun Mick Rooney, Sheffield Council cabinet member responsble, said the council will not cut the £14,000 a year it contributes to the library.

He said: “We have offered an alternative building. Officers attending the meeting about the future of the library will be asked to put forward alternative options so at the services can be retained to help local groups.”

Even if the library cannot be saved, Sheffield Council’s money will be set aside to provide an alternative, he said.