Academy in talks to run town library

Holbeach residents at a meeting on the town's library at Holbeach Reading Rooms.
Holbeach residents at a meeting on the town's library at Holbeach Reading Rooms.

University Academy Holbeach and the University of Lincoln are in talks with county council leaders to take over the running of Holbeach Library.

The news was revealed at a public meeting in the town on Monday when the library’s future was discussed amid plans by Lincolnshire County Council to slash the number of libraries it runs from 47 to 15.

At the meeting, Holbeach county councillor Nick Worth said the academy and university have been asked to run the library on the basis that it would stay at its current site in Church Street and with the same opening hours as at present.

He revealed that groups chosen by the council to run libraries in Lincolnshire from April 2014 could apply to the council for an annual contribution of £5,167 to help with running costs.

They could also apply for a one-off payment of £15,000 if they wanted to move a library to another location, although Coun Worth assured people that there were no plans for a change of site in Holbeach.

He said: “I approached the academy and university as its sponsor because I felt they could provide a good service.

“They want to take it on partly because they want to sustain the library in the town centre and also because they are part of the community.

“I would prefer for the library to stay where it is and I will work with both organisations to ensure that it is here for the long term and doesn’t get moved to the university.”

Chris Penney, chairman of governors at University Academy Holbeach, said: “We’re one of the few areas of Lincolnshire to have a university presence and we acknowledge that a town of our size can’t be without a library.

“We’ll work with the county council to ensure that a library presence remains in Holbeach.”

Meanwhile, Crowland residents are forming a Community Library Steering Group to run the town’s library 
after a public meeting attended by almost 90 people last Monday.