Northern Ireland library cuts scrapped

Northern Ireland library cuts scrapped

Proposals to reduce opening hours at 14 of the busiest libraries in Northern Ireland have been scrapped.

Libraries NI u-turned on the plans, revealed in May in wake of budget cuts, after an extra £225,000 was reportedly "found to ward off the threat", according to Belfast Live

The proposals, under which some libraries stood to close for up to an extra day every week, attracted more than 8,000 responses opposing the plans as part of the Libraries NI consultation.

Affected branches included Ballymena; Bangor; Belfast Central; Carrickfergus; Coleraine; Derry Central; Dungannon; Enniskillen; Finaghy; Glengormley; Lisburn City; Lurgan; Newry City and Omagh. Each would have had their opening hours cut to 45 hours a week, some of which had already had opening hours reduced in 2015.

Communities minister Paul Givan said: "The views of people are important in any public consultation and the responses received during the Libraries NI consultation have been clearly heard, both by the organisation and by me as minister."

Chief executive of Libraries NI, Irene Knox, said: "It is heartening to read [library users'] stories and within the resources that are available to us, we will continue to develop and deliver services that meet identified need."