Fourteen Lancashire libraries set to reopen

Fourteen Lancashire libraries set to reopen

Fourteen libraries in Lancashire could reopen after being closed last year following a change in council leadership.

Last year, 26 of Lancashire County Council's 73 libraries were closed by the previous Labour-run cabinet in order to help save £65m. This move were slammed by campaigners as "disgraceful" and investigated by the DCMS.

A report by the now Conservative-run authority recommends reopening 14 of the region's libraries, with nine set to be run by the council and five by independent groups. The costs for 2017/18 have provisionally been estimated at £1.7m.

Most of libraries could reopen between this autumn and next spring, the council said.

Councillor Peter Buckley, cabinet member for community and cultural services, said a "significant" amount of activity will be needed to reopen the libraries including building assessments, staff recruitment and training and reallocating book stock.

"Building surveys are already underway and the next step will be to produce a detailed timeline for libraries reopening. Whilst some require minimal work in order to reopen, at this stage we’re anticipating that most will reopen between this autumn and spring next year,” he said.

He added: “Libraries are a vital service at the heart of our communities, offering free access to books and information, as well as being a place where communities can get together. That is why we’re proposing to reopen libraries which were closed, as well as safeguarding full library services at six libraries which had been due to close or see the level of service reduced."