Plans to safeguard the long-term future of Northamptonshire County Council’s libraries have taken a step forward with the approval of business cases submitted by community groups.
17 of the libraries have had their business cases approved and the county council will now work with the remaining five libraries to further develop their business plans.
The strategy for the future of the library service was drawn up with the community groups and district, borough, town and parish councils and were refined following a consultation and evaluation process.
The strategy aims to retain as many libraries as possible with 14 to be managed directly by the county council, satisfying the council’s statutory duty.
A further five libraries will provide statutory services and be managed by community groups, while the remaining 17 will be managed entirely by the community.
The county council will now finalise plans to achieve a smooth handover of the libraries to the individual groups with the first step to agree individual service level agreements with the groups.
Property arrangements are in hand and are being progressed as quickly as possible with the aim that the first handovers will start in October.