Arts Council England boss suggests library funding boost

Arts Council England boss suggests library funding boost

Arts Council England (ACE) could make funding public libraries one of its priorities over the next decade, the organisation’s c.e.o. has said.

Sir Nicholas Serota told the Guardian that ACE's 10-year arts strategy, to be published in February, could feature libraries, helping them to "move into the 21st century".

He told the newspaper: "There is big scope when you talk about what is happening in high streets and communities for libraries to play a much larger role. Many are already.

"Libraries are trusted places. They are places people feel safe in. Sustaining libraries and helping them move into the 21st century is an important part of what the Arts Council should be doing."

Last month, ACE announced a £150,000 grant for Libraries Connected to train staff in how to boost their income generation and Seota suggested there could be more to come.

Recent Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy statistics show the service is in decline, with funding falling nearly 30% over a decade of government austerity and a swathe of facilities closing

Serota also suggested a key plank of the new strategy could be giving more money to arts projects in the east of England and helping writers, artists and composers in the early stages of their careers.

The Bookseller has contacted ACE for comment.