Three proposals to run community libraries shortlisted

Published: 31 May 2024

Mackworth Library

Mackworth Library (pictured) is one of the ten community libraries in Derby.

Three organisations have been invited to submit formal bids to run the city’s ten non-statutory libraries as a Trust.

In March, Derby City Council launched a formal process to identify viable proposals from external organisations who wanted to run its ten community libraries.

In the first stage, interested bidders needed to show that they have the knowledge, experience, and resources or support to manage the buildings or spaces to deliver a range of services, including library provision.

Submissions were received from a range of local organisations and evaluated against criteria, including potential benefits to the community and facility management. Now three have been invited to provide an outline business plan.

The closing date for second stage submissions is 19 July, 2024.

Responses will then be evaluated by a panel of Council officers to identify preferred bidders, with new leases signed and management arrangements due to be put in place during autumn 2024.

The Council considered many other models, including retaining the community libraries in-house or running them jointly with other councils, to find a sustainable, long-term solution to providing library services fit for the future.

Councillor Baggy Shanker, Leader of Derby City Council said:

We're committed to ensuring the long-term health and growth of Derby's libraries, which provide important services for local people and continue to be a valued hub within our communities.

We received a range of interesting proposals from enthusiastic organisations, and I'd like to thank them all for their interest.

The strong response is very encouraging and I look forward to the possibilities ahead.

Depending on how it is set up, an organisation separate from the Council could be eligible for grants not available to an in-house council service and benefit from alternative funding, such as sponsorship and donations.

The city’s community libraries transferred to the Council in April 2023 while the process to identify a future provider for the community library service takes place. 

The ten community libraries are Allestree, Allenton, Blagreaves, Chaddesden Park, Chellaston, Derwent Community Library, Mackworth, Sinfin, Spondon and Springwood (Oakwood). 

Derby’s five statutory libraries (Alvaston, Normanton, Mickleover, Riverside and Local Studies) are not affected by the proposals and continue to be operated by the Council.

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