Southend to Sunderland

To make the list is factual as possible, please email if you have any further information or a correction.

Dates included are the date that the information was added to Public Libraries News.  In more recent posts, the number shows the month (e.g. 3 = March, 4 = April) the article that contains the relevant information was published.

  1. Southend
    1. 2024: Library closures cancelled.(1)
    2. 2023: 2 libraries may close, 3 of the 4 remaining may have hours reduced.  (11)
    3. 2018: Mobile Library withdrawn. (11)
    4. 2017: Westcliff Library to be refurbished. (1) Leaves Essex library service, joins South East Libraries Management System (SELMS), with increase in charges for reservations outside of borough. (4)
    5. 2016: Kent Elms Library to be refurbished: new entrance and meeting room. (9)
    6. 2015: Thorpedene and Friars libraries replaced by Shoeburyness Library. (8)
    7. 2014: Staff cuts and move to volunteers at Southchurch and Westcliff to be frozen. Review ordered by new administration (6) Westcliff and Southchurch libraries will continue to have at least one paid member of staff, rather than being purely volunteer as previously planned. (8) All libraries to have at least one paid member of staff. Thorpedene and Friar’s libraries to close, with one library (based at youth centre) replacing them. £378k cut. as previously proposed, but with less closures. (9)
    8. 2013: Proposal is for a central library (The Forum, Southend –  open seven days a week, have longer opening hours, wi-fi and 25 per cent more stock, cafe, meeting rooms, etc), 2 branch libraries (1 being a merge of Thorpedene and Friars libraries, the other being either Leigh Library or Kent Elms Library) and the others (Westcliff, Southchurch and one in the west) to be taken over by volunteers or closed.   Council also aims to be “increasing e-book lending, developing a Virtual Library, extending the Home Library Service and increasing the use of mobile and ‘pop-up’ library services” (6).  to save £378k over next three years (15% of budget), 29 posts (15 FTE) to be lost. (3). The five libraries that will not be kept open will be offered to volunteers or closed (3). Beecroft Art Gallery may move into Central Library making it the Beecroft Centre, inc, space for shops and businesses. (3). Library strategy 2013-2028 (4). Thorpedene and Friars Libraries may be replaced by one at Shoebury Primary School. (4) No non-management staff are qualified librarians.  Plans in place to further reduce this number from 7 to 3 (5). Leigh and Kent Elms to be volunteer assisted. (11). Friars and Thorpedene Libraries to close (to be replaced by new site in Shoebury: therefore counts as one closure). Leigh and Kent Elms to be staffed by a mixture of volunteer and paid staff. Southchurch and Westcliff libraries to be volunteer run (counted as two withdrawn). (12) 45% of staff to be lost (from 14 to 7 full time equivalent).  Hubs to have £200k budget per year rather than £381k currently. Volunteer-run branches expected from March 2016.  (12)
    9. 2012: 5 branches under threatNew Forum Library planned for 2013 in partnership with local University and College.  Review of libraries, fears of closures of six smaller branches with £27m invested in new central library. £417k cut “over past few years” via reduction in funding for bookstock/DVDs (12/7/12). 
    10. 2011: New library “The Forum” will be built, open in 2013. Rumours of closures of Westcliff library led to campaign to save it
    11. Campaign group: Stand Up for Southend Libraries, Campaign group: Save Leigh Library
  2. Southwark
    1. 2023: New Una Marson Library opens (12)
    2. 2021: New Walworth Library opens. (5) New library on Aylesbury Estate in 2022. (8)
    3. 2019: New Grove Vale Library. (1)
    4. 2017: Camberwell Library named British Book Awards Library of the Year with doubled lending after refurbishment and publicity (5)
    5. 2015: East Street Library will close and move to Thurlow Street in 2019. (9)
    6. 2014: £1.2m temporary library made from shipping containers (4).
    7. 2013: 8% cut (3). New library planned in Camberwell. (6).
    8. 2012: BrandonEast StreetGrove Vale and Nunhead libraries will have hours cut from April.  £400k cut library budget 2012/14 (10/2/12).   Grove Vale Library may move to new building due to deal with developers (19/7/12). Staff 2007/8 113.8 2011/12 108 (20 prof, 88 other) Volunteers 2007/8 0 2011/12 14 (Cipfa).
    9. 2011: £120k cut to library staffing, East Street Library opening to be cut by six hours a week but open one more day.  Volunteers to be used to keep hours steady as paid staff cut.  Opening hours will be cut if insufficient volunteers foundConsultation on cutting library budget now closed.. £14m Canada Water library opened, with privately managed room hire and buildings manager. (school library service closed).
  3. St Helens 
    1. 2024: Six libraries closed: Garswood, Rainhill, Rainford and Parr to no longer be council funded on 26 January; Peter Street and Billinge libraries not to reopen.  (1)
    2. 2023: Threatened libraries to stay open apart from Peter Street Library (3)
    3. 2022: Billinge Library, Garswood Library, Parr Library, Peter Street Library, Rainford Library and Rainhill Library to close or go volunteer. (7) Plans to cease funding seven libraries postponed by further consultation. (10)
    4. 2021: Library review focuses on reducing cost and on alternative service provision.(5)
    5. 2020: Opening house changed, 5 voluntary redundancies. (6) Central Library will reopen inside Heart of Glass museum on 14 September (8)
    6. 2019: Central Library to move into World of Glass, opening hours reviews. (12)
    7. 2018: Central Library may close due to building problems – to be relocated, probably to World of Glass. (1) Visitors down 28% compared to last year: Central Library closed during period for repairs. (7) “Honesty Library” opened at Church Square Shopping Centre (this appears to be a shopping centre initiative). (7) Opening hours changed. (10).
    8. 2017: 6 week consultation of library service: cuts expected. (3) £440k ACE funding over four years. (6)  £86k local history lottery funding. (9) Central Library to remain closed for repair (has been closed since March). (11)
    9. 2016: Wins National Lottery Award for Cultural Hubs programme. (8)
    10. 2015: 22 out of 96 posts lost, £270k cut.  (4). Housebound service takes on volunteers to expand service previously provided by one paid member of staff.(10)
    11. 2014: Some libraries at risk (1).  £150k Arts Council England funding for  performances, workshops, exhibitions, digital arts projects and other events taking place through to April 2015.  (2).
    12. 2013: £145k cut met by reducing opening hours by one-fifth (from 507.5 hours per week to 406) (21/2/13).
  4. Staffordshire
    1. 2024: Burton Library £1.3m refurbishment will introduce community and adult learning areas, new children’s area, meeting space. (3)
    2. 2022: Burton demolition plan cancelled. (3)
    3. 2021: Burton Library to be demolished and re-located.  (3) School Library Service closed.  (11)
    4. 2020: Financial support for volunteer libraries to continue. Staffless pilot at Stafford Library. (2)
    5. 2019: Talke Library taken over by Kidsgrove Care Solutions.  (2)
    6. 2018: Consultation on further cuts (£1.3m, cut announced in November on top of previous £1.6m cut) to library service: more volunteers and card/pin-entry expected in surviving 20 libraries (23 others now volunteer-run). (1) Open technology consultation. (2) Cheadle, Clayton, Eccleshall and Penkridge to become volunteer: council will pay utility fees and maintenance costs. (7) Lichfield Central Library moves into ex St Mary’s Church. (12)
    7. 2017:  Silverdale becomes enterprise hub, small volunteer library retained. (1) Brereton Library: primary school has declined running it: will be run by volunteers instead. (2) Open technology may be introduced. Issues 15.8% down in 2016/17 (several libraries passed to volunteers in same period) (9) Lichfield Library to co-locate into St Mary’s Church.  (9) £1.3m budget cut on top of previous £1.675m cut in previous years. (9)
    8. 2016: Lichfield Library may move to St Mary’s (2) Email received from Staffordshire library service: 11 out of 43 libraries to be passed to community groups by July 2016, which will remain part of statutory provision; a further 12 are being consulted upon.  2 mobiles libraries and “1 travelling library” remain (6) Confirmed Lichfield Library will move into a church in £1m move. Old building to be sold to developers.(7) Shenstone and seven other libraries passed to volunteers.(9) Knutton Library to be volunteer-staffed and managed by local primary school. (11)
    9. 2015: 18 to be passed to volunteers will have buildings retained by council due to lack of public interest. (1) Burton under Needwood Library will become volunteer.(2) £350k cut to mobile libraries. 143 stops cut. 4  mobiles to be withdrawn(5) Stafford Library moving to new building in Staffordshire Place, expected to be open in September. Additions will include “digital touch tables”, innovation suite (including 3D printers and Raspberry Pi’s) (8) £625k bookfund stays the same this year.  (8) South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to take over Baswich, Brewood and Holmcroft libraries. Rising Brook Baptist Church will take over the running of Rising Brook Library. (9)
    10. 2014: Consultation starting.  12% decline in visits last three years, 19% decline in books.  (1) £1.525m in cuts to 2017 from original budget of £9m (2). 2 libraries (Lichfield and Burntwood) may merge or close (ongoing consultation). (5) Up to 24 libraries out of 43 may become volunteer- run. (6) Stafford Library may move to new Staffordshire Place. (10)
    11. 2013: Some libraries to volunteers and others to close: plans to be confirmed soon (12).
    12. 2012: Budget cut from £11.9m 2007/8  to £10.9m 2012/13. “The number of full-time library posts has reduced from 301 to 249 over the same time, including a drop of 13 professional librarians.” (14/5/12). 
  5. Stirling –
    1. 2024: All proposed cuts removed, extra £100k given for future service review (3)
    2. 2023: New community-owned library in Strathblane opens. Two options for cuts involved: (a) Close 8 of 16 (£400k cut) libraries and (b) Close all libraries except for Stirling Library (£1.3m cut) (11)
    3. 2021: New Strathblane Library £1m, paid for partly by crowdfunding. (12)
    4. 2020: £500k for new Thomas Graham Library.
    5. 2014: No library closures or cuts to service level provision (2).
  6. Stockport 
    1. 2022:  Four more libraries to be become staffless. (1) Adswood and Bridgehall Libraries open on Saturdays. (5) Fines “paused” until Easter review. (12)
    2. 2021:  Central library services have moved to an alternative site temporarily due to the cost of making the Central Library building covid safe during the pandemic (source: email from the service) (April 2021)
    3. 2020: . cut via paying for Open+ so council can cut £160k from staffing.  (1) Central Library to remain closed – will move to old Argos site in shopping centre. (9)
    4. 2013: 91 hours / £160k cut. Bramhall, Cheadle and Reddish libraries would be open for six hours fewer a week, while Bredbury and Edgeley could see opening times cut by seven hours.  Brinnington Library could have 11-and-a-half hours cut. £300k additional cut/saving after installation of new management system (6). proposals amended after consultation to 83.5 opening hours per week cut (£160k cut per year) and hours changes after consultation (2000 responses).  Library to be opened in Adswood Community Centre.  £625k cut overall in next two financial years (9). £4.86m budget 2012/13 cut to £4.67m 2013/14. (12).
  7. Stockton on Tees
    1. 2020: Central Library may be co-located to save money.(2)
    2. 2017: Fairfield Library opens children’s nursery in order to gain enough funding to stay open. (11)
    3. 2016: Yarm Library to co-locate with building society. Egglescliffe Library to close when Yarm reopens. Fairfield Library may close unless taken over by volunteers/others. (2) £130k cut, including £77k from closing Fairfield. (6)
    4. 2015: £2.7m Billingham Library (co-located) officially opened. (7)
    5. 2014: Roseberry and Billingham libraries merged into new combined library/customer service centre in Billingham. Roseworth and Thornaby libraries moved into children’s centres.  Public Health Information Library has also moved into Redhill children’s centre. Major refurbishment in Norton Library has now finished. (12) Thornaby and Roseworth Libraries closed: both relocated into children’s centres (2).
    6. 2013: £400k cut to libraries budget.  Westbury Street library to be moved to Riverbank Centre 250 metres away.  Other libraries to be co-located with other council services.  Final decision on June 12th. (5).
    7. 2012: £2.5m new library for Billingham to be combined with customer service centre.
    8. 2011: Stockton Library reopens in November after £1.9m refurbishment, to include co-location with other council services.
    9. 2010: “Reduction in housebound vehicles from 3 to 2.” (MLA, Dec 2010)
  8. Stoke on Trent
    1. 2024: £184k cut, 4 FTE staff to be lost, opening hours cut; Longton Library £300k refurbishment starts (Libraries Improvement Fund) (4)
    2. 2023: £88k one-off funding to set up volunteer groups for new parents, fathers, bereavement support. (11)
    3. 2022: £280k cut: reduction in paid staff and hours, more volunteers.  (1) Cutting hours reversed after consultation (5)
    4. 2019: New co-located volunteer Trentham Library replaces library closed in 2013. (9)
    5. 2018: Tunstall Library will move from Victoria Institute to Town Hall (5)
    6. 2017: Newcastle Library will move into £15.4m new co-location: one third smaller space, fewer books, more IT. (8) Opening hour reductions £100k cut. Staff consultation. (9)
    7. 2015: 10 250-book collections including at leisure centres and churches.(1). Ten volunteer libraries opened in recent years in Ball Green Methodist Church, Swan Bank Methodist Church, Burslem, Blurton Hub, Haywood Engineering Academy, Fenton Hub, St John’s Welcome Church in Abbey Hulton, Whitfield Valley Community Centre, Wallace Sport and Education Centre, Northwood Stadium and Trentham Mews Medical Centre. Volunteer library at Blurton Community Centre to replace lost mobile library stop. (6)
    8. 2014: 500 book collection issued on honesty system at St John’s Welcome Centre.  (8)
    9. 2013: £90k Arts Council cover three years for “The Box” story/writing project (10). Meir and Trentham libraries under threat. (12).
    10. 2012: 1 mobile lost.  Budget cut from £4.1m 2007/8 to £3.4m 2012/13.  Librarians reduced from 16 to 9. Reduction in opening hours 2012/13 by 30 hours per week.  70, 000 less users of its libraries 2011/12.  Mobile library (1 vehicle, £201k cut) closed 2011/12.    Staffordshire County Council paid £10k per year to provide mobile stops in Stoke. (14/5/12). Joins North West and Yorkshire Libraries Consortium (25.9/12).  30 hours per week cut (from Bentilee, Longton, Meir, Tunstall, Stoke, Trentham and Hanley libraries) with £100k taken from budget and five job losses (16/4/12),  £100k cut from £2.9m libraries budget 2012/13.  Branches to be co-located with other council services to “improve visitor numbers” (18/3/12).  Many branches likely to be combined with children’s libraries in order to cut costs (18/2/12).
    11. 2011: 2 branches and 1 mobile library closed (ends RNIB service).  Co-location of libraries, reduced staffing.   Promised Blurton Library cancelled due to cuts.
  9. Suffolk
    1. 2024: Stoke Community Library will move location inside school (1)
    2. 2023: Extra £720k provided by council to meet budget shortfall until July 2024. (5) 3 community libraries extend hours: Brandon, Long Melford, Shotley (10) Consultation (11) Woodbridge Library to trial new opening hours (11) Beccles Library reopens after £500k refurbishment, including “pod” for Barclays Bank.  (12)
    3. 2022: Southwold Library to move into new “community hub” (4) Rushmere pop-up library receives extra funding to continue.  (6) New library at Moreton Hall opens. Red Lodge pop-up library starts. (10) £170k grant from DHS for menopause support. (12)
    4. 2021: Babergh Library becomes co-located.  (1)
    5. 2020: Ipswich Library café opens.  (2)
    6. 2019: New library at Eye opens, to replace old structure. (2) Long Melford Library refurbished, hours extended.  (3) Children’s fines removed. (3)
    7. 2018: New library to replace old Eye Library.(3) Pop-up library in Rushmere (3)
    8. 2017: Mildenhall Library may co-locate.(1) Framlingham Library now co-located with town council. (3) £704k ACE funding over four years.(6) Rosehill Library refurbished. (7) 15 FTE posts under threat after £530k council funding cut over 2 years (7) Suffolk Libraries council contract extended for a further five year. (8) £50k cut 2018/19 then no further cuts for three years. (11)
    9. 2016: Suffolk Coastal District Council putting staff into Woodbridge Library.(6) Debenham Library moves into larger space at primary school.  (6) £30k refurbishment at Aldeburgh funded by Friends group. (7) £240k cut meaning 34% cut in budget since 2010/11. (11)
    10. 2015: Launches book festival (1) iPad lending scheme begins. (7) Literacy ambassador employed after £30k foundation grant. Ballet screenings start of new “Suffolk Libraries Presents” programme. (8) Needham Market Library may move into redundant school to co-locate with internet café and museum group.  (11) 30% cut (“efficiency savings”) since 2012 almost complete. Council has asked for a further 11% cut 2016/18 (£700k). (11) Lowestoft Library café closes as losing money. (12)
    11. 2014: Number of books borrowed down from 3.9m 2010/11 to 3.2m 2012/13. Visits also down. (3). Plans to move Diss Library withdrawn (5) £99k Arts Council England funding given for arts projects inc. digital projection equipment and training for staff to become arts “community champions” (10) Business centre put into Ipswich Library. (10)
    12. 2013: Three mobile libraries (out of six) withdrawn (25/1/13), Brandon Library to move into Brandon Centre at end of September (9) Annual report 2012/13 (9) Sudbury Heritage Centre may move into library, dependent on deal being done with Suffolk Libraries IPS (9).
    13. 2012: Industrial and Provident Society has formally taken over running of all libraries on 1st August.  Some branches (Aldeburgh, Bungay, Eye, Debenham, Stradbroke, Gainsborough, Chantry, Ipswich, Stoke, Rosehill, Westbourne, Sudbury, Thurston and Wickham Market) to be run with aid of friends groups (17/6/12). 30% cut in budget over 3 years from £9m (2010/11) to £6.4m.  Suffolk is, uniquely, to form an “Industrial and Provident Society” for libraries in order to save 80% on rates and be able to apply for more grants (board appointed to begin with, although will be elected by IPS members in late 2013).   95% council-funded.  Reduction in management, 20 jobs (from total of 160) to be cut. Confirmed that half of mobile libraries will go (with visits becoming monthly rather than fortnightly).  Local groups would be expected to raise 5% of costs of each library.  (16/1/12): Government grant given for £250k for Industrial and Provident Society for new computer management system, split with council (14/3/12). Eye Town Council may take over long lease on town centre building and then give space to Suffolk IPS Libraries organisation at peppercorn rent.  Stradbroke council frustrated as council has not given them sufficient information for them to put in a bid to help run its threatened libraryHalesworth Town Council agrees to pay 5% of running costs of Halesworth Library (31/1/12) Sudbury Library merged with tourist information centre (21/3/12)
    14. 2012: 20 (out of 160) full-time equivalent posts to go, probably by natural wastage – largely management and at headquarters.  2 mobiles may close as of 19/10/12 ( was half of current 6 mobiles could go. £225k cut to mobile library service – consultation for six weeks).  confirmed 2011 £350k this year29 libraries no longer to be “divested”. (petition hereSuffolk capping users of RNIB service.
  10. Sunderland 
    1. 2021: New “Culture House” proposed.  (3)
    2. 2020: New location purchased for local studies library.  (2)
    3. 2017: Several libraries (inc. Hetton Centre, at Hetton-le-Hole, and Shiney Row Library) to pass to volunteers. (3) Hendon Library already run by volunteers. (3) 8 out of 11 libraries to be volunteer ( Bunnyhill, Fulwell, Ryhope, Sandhill, Kayll Road, Shiney Row, Hetton and Washington Millennium Centre) (5) Shiney Row community centre opens “honesty” library. (8)
    4. 2016: £3.7m budget (30.4% since 2009/10) (3) Consultation on how to reduce budget of library service. Central may return to being co-located with museum. (9) Aim to reduce total libraries budget to £509k pa. by 2019/2020. (12)
    5. 2014: £500k refurbishment of Sunderland Central Library inc. wifi, iPads as part of new strategy after closure of 9 branches. (4).
    6. 2013: £850k cut in budget 2013/14 from £4.6m 2012/13 (12/1/13). 9 libraries under threat  Plan is for 5 hubs (open 40 hours per week) and 6 community branches (15 hours per week). (6) Budget 2009/10 was £7,178,031.  In 2011/12 £4,868,932 (6).   Closure of nine libraries confirmed (out of 20) (Doxford Park, East Herrington, Easington Lane, Hendon, Fence Houses, Silksworth, Southwick, Monkwearmouth and Washington Green).  Some library facilities may continue in arts centres. (9) £500k for improved IT to offset nine library closures. Community book collections to open at community centres, shops etc.  (10)
    7. 2012: £340k bookfund (increase from £141,268 in 2011/12 but less than £406k in 2010/11) (14/11/12).
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