Mark Whitehead 29 March 2017

North Yorkshire libraries to be run by community groups

Most libraries in North Yorkshire will be run by community groups and the few remaining under council management will be supported by volunteers in a move to meet cuts in Government funding.

The county council says 21 more libraries will join nine already run directly by communities and 12 will remain under county council management supported by volunteers to maintain current levels of service.

North Yorkshire County Council says the budget for its library service has been halved from £7.8m in 2010 to £4.3m this year.

But it says its 'flexible, co-operative approach' and the support of 1,200 new volunteers means no libraries will be closed.

Community libraries will continue to receive professional staff support and will be given new books, access to the library management system and a broadband service.

The county council will also subsidise overheads including rent and utility costs, and most district councils have waived business rates.

The council is making a one-off investment of £350,000 which they say will help give libraries the 'flexibility needed to deliver the widening range of services they offer'.

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