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Libraries Development Initiative announced

  • Date: 25 November 2011
  • Area: Midlands
Arts Council England written in a circle

Arts Council England.

Arts Council England and the Local Government Association (LGA) have announced the Libraries Development Initiative which is a £200,000 fund available through an application process.

This will build on the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's (MLA) and LGA's Future Libraries Programme to ensure libraries are at the heart of society and valued by local communities.

The Libraries Development Initiative was developed in partnership with the LGA, and will support around ten projects from March 2012 until March 2013, with a maximum award of £20,000 per project.

Successful projects will explore how embedding arts and culture in libraries can bring benefits to library users and library services and increase cultural provision in local areas. Projects will also look at new ways of working that will enhance libraries' sustainability and relevance as vibrant hubs in their local communities.

This new initiative is one part of the Arts Council's wider work with libraries, aimed at enabling them to partner with other art forms and arts organisations to improve the cultural experience for users and audiences.  The Arts Council is exploring the best ways to deliver on that ambition, and to broaden out the debate about the value of library services, and details of further work will be announced as it takes shape. 

The Arts Council assumed a non-statutory role for libraries in October. Its role is to champion and help develop the cultural offer of library services with the aim of making them a more relevant and resilient resource for their local communities.

Jessica Harris, who became the Arts Council's West Midlands Relationship Manager (Libraries) in October, comments: 'We have designed this initiative to draw on the existing strengths of libraries, but also to enable them to think creatively about new ways of delivering and developing their services.'

For more information about how to apply visit: link to www.artscouncil.org.uk