Shropshire Council has been awarded £236,950 by Arts Council England to install new equipment that will make library spaces more accommodating and accessible to the wider community.
The funding, from the Libraries Improvement Fund, will be shared between six libraries – Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Market Drayton, and Whitchurch.
Rob Gittins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, said that they are delighted the libraries are going to benefit from the successful bid.
He continued: “Our vision is for library services in Shropshire to be at the heart of our communities making connections to enhance and improve people’s lives.
“We are making it our mission to provide physical and digital library services and spaces that inspire people’s learning, imagination and discovery, to connect and fulfil an individual’s potential, health and wellbeing, and articulate the value of library services to our communities.
“Our library service always seeks new opportunities to support the council’s wider ambitions to build resilient and prosperous communities; reflecting how we are all living and our developing community partnerships.
“This grant will allow us to use space in the libraries more actively and support a range of services.”
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The Libraries Improvement Fund enables library services across England to invest in a range of projects to upgrade buildings and technology so they are better placed to respond to the changing ways people are using them.
The money will be used to purchase 1:1 interview pods with supporting technology, enabling private consultations with the public, both face to face or online.
It will also fund new mobile shelving to create flexible space to accommodate health and wellbeing sessions offered through social prescribing and creative health models.