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03 August 2017

Copeland library consultations

Cumbria County Council is seeking the public’s views on the future of three small branch libraries in Copeland – Hensingham Library, Kells Library and Mirehouse Library.

All of these libraries are open for less than 10 hours service a week and levels of use, in terms of visits, PC use, and book borrowing, is low. We are looking to explore alternative options which would mean better use of the buildings for the local community, and potentially better access to library services. Other libraries in the Copeland district are unaffected.

There are three options to consider in the consultation exercise; alternative use of the library buildings, consolidation of services into Whitehaven’s main library, but with extended outreach, or no change. 

None of these options would result in any reductions in staff numbers. 

We would welcome ideas and support from any groups that would be interested in making alternative use of the building for the benefit of the community either through leasing, sale or Community Asset Transfer.

Community involvement

Local community groups or organisations may be interested in assuming use of the library building so that a range of relevant services can be extended to the local community. We would welcome credible expressions of interest from such groups.

Community Asset Transfer, lease or sale

As part of offering services in each area, community groups or organisations may be interested in taking responsibility for the library building, via a Community Asset Transfer (CAT), lease or sale. Under the terms of the transfer, the group would take on responsibility for the building, including its running costs but would be able to develop its use to see a range of locally relevant services extended within the area. Cumbria County Council is happy to assist with advice with regards to any expression of interest and detailed business plan to ensure the viability of the plan.

The consultation is open now and ends on Friday 8 September.  There are a number of ways to respond to the consultation and to have your say on the future of the three libraries – visit www.cumbria.gov.uk/libraries, email whitehaven.library@cumbria.gov.uk, write to Whitehaven Library, Lowther Street, Whitehaven CA28 7QZ, or call in to any library in Copeland and collect a consultation feedback form.  This can be returned to any Copeland library or posted to the above address.

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Cumbria County Council is seeking the public’s views on the future of three small branch libraries in Copeland – Hensingham Library, Kells Library and Mirehouse Library.