New chapter for axed libraries

Burnley Campus Library
Burnley Campus Library

Several Burnley libraries could re-open, just months after they were closed as a result of cost-cutting measures across the county.

The Burnley Express can reveal that Brierfield Library and Burnley Campus Library will be re-opened, while consideration will be given to reopening Briercliffe and Rosegrove Libraries.

Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet will now consider proposals on how it will reopen those closed last year.

Government cuts forced the closure of 26 of the council’s original 73 libraries under the previous administration.

The report recommends the phased reopening of 14 libraries, nine of which will be run by the county council and five as independent community libraries, and retaining a full service at six libraries which were due to close or offer a reduced service.

Three former libraries cannot be reopened since leases for two buildings have been surrendered. The cabinet will also be asked to defer decisions relating to 12 other libraries.

County Coun. Peter Buckley, Cabinet member for community and cultural services, said most libraries would reopen between autumn and spring.

He said: "“Libraries are a vital service at the heart of our communities.

“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.

“A significant amount of activity will be needed to reopen the libraries which were closed. This will include building assessments and carrying out work to improve the condition of some buildings, recruiting and training staff, reconnecting ICT and other infrastructure, and reallocating book stock.”