Derbyshire County Council relaunches search for volunteers to run two High Peak libraries

Derbyshire County Council has issued a fresh appeal for volunteer groups or grassroots organisations to step up and take over the libraries in Hayfield and Whaley Bridge, helping to ensure they remain accessible to the community.

By Ed Dingwall
Friday, 28th January 2022, 5:30 pm

The two resource centres are among a list of 14 which the council is still seeking community managers for as part of its Libraries for Derbyshire strategy, which will calls for 20 of 45 sites currently run by the county to be transferred to the voluntary sector over the coming years.

Council leader Barry Lewis is encouraging community groups to take the first steps now and register their interest following a pause in the programme due to the coronavirus pandemic.

He said: “Our libraries are strong community assets with a wide range of uses and benefits and are highly valued by the council and the people who use them.

Sign up to our daily Buxton Advertiser Today newsletter

Could you help to keep Whaley Bridge open to the community? (Image: Google)

“We’re working hard to ensure the library service thrives and grows and to do this we need local communities, groups and volunteers from across the county to work with us.”

He added: “We’re hoping established groups, organisations or individuals wanting to form a group will seize the opportunity in 2022 to take over their local library and help to shape its future to suit the needs of their community.”

The first milestone of the programme has already been passed with the handing over of Woodville Library, now called Woodville Community Managed Library, near Swadlincote, to the charity Circularity.org.

The council says it already working with five other groups with a view to taking charge of their local libraries in the future, including one located in Tideswell.

Financial support for successful groups will be provided with grant funding for five years, in a tapered transition to alternative sources of income.

The county will offer training in all aspects of running the service and its finances, and in return will require partners to commit to maintain certain opening hours and statutory service levels.

For more information on what would be involved in running a community library, go to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/librariesforderbyshire.

Alternatively, anyone wanting to express their interest or ask questions can email [email protected] or phone the council on 01629 533444.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.