Gloucestershire Libraries celebrate £750k funding award

The announcement was made today as part of the Arts Council’s 2023-26 Investment Programme, called Let’s Create, which aims to develop the offer of accessible culture around the UK.

Gloucester was singled out as a priority place for development and cultural ambition which formed the basis of the application for funding.

Gloucestershire Libraries will receive £250,000 a year over the three-year period to help continue its development to provide an ambitious and forward-thinking service for everyone in the county.

This will align with the new libraries in Gloucester, Stroud and Oakley in Cheltenham, as well as financially support the cultural elements of the newly drafted five-year Library Strategy (2023-2028).

The application was awarded on the basis that resources will be put into customer development, data and work with hard-to-reach groups.

Key partners involved with the project will include the University of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Archives, Gloucestershire NHS, Immersive Reality and many more. There will be specific emphasis on new activity and engagement within Gloucester and the Forest of Dean as priority places.

The funding will begin in April 2023 and Gloucestershire Libraries will use the time over the next four months to develop project plans and set up a governance board to oversee the developments planned over the three-year funding period.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries, said: “I’m delighted that Gloucestershire Libraries have been awarded this funding to continue the ambitious work that has been recognised through this investment from the Arts Council.

“There are exciting new initiatives planned that will help the service continue to evolve and meet the needs of everyone in our communities in Gloucestershire.”

Arts Council England Chief Executive, Darren Henley, said: “Together, each of the 990 organisations that have been offered funding today will contribute to a portfolio that is rich, varied and truly national. This is our widest ever spread of investment across the country, ensuring that many more people will have access to a wider choice of exceptional art, culture and creative opportunities on their doorsteps. We are in tough times but we must remember creativity brings with it extraordinary dividends, boosting our country’s economic growth, creating jobs, bringing communities closer together, and making us happier as individuals. Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits it brings, and with this investment, we believe we’ve taken a decisive step towards making that vision a reality.

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