Arts Council England funding to boost Devon libraries

Posted on: 6 July 2017

Devon’s libraries are to receive more than £680,000 from Arts Council England to develop a programme of high-quality arts and cultural activity across the county.

Libraries Unlimited is the first libraries organisation in the South West to receive Arts Council England funding.

Libraries Unlimited manage Devon’s libraries on Devon County Council’s behalf, and it plans to use the funds to host leading and internationally acclaimed artists and work with cultural organisations to deliver a diverse range of events and initiatives for people of all ages.  They also plan to increase access to pioneering digital facilities and expand its live webcasting programme.

21 other arts and cultural organisations in Devon will also receive funding in a package worth £24 million to the South West over 4 years.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for the library services, said:

“This is great news for library users across the county.  Our libraries are modern facilities providing and excellent and diverse range of services to local communities and this funding for Libraries Unlimited will present new opportunities to broaden their appeal further.”

Ciara Eastell, Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited, said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be one of the Arts Council’s new National Portfolio Organisations (NPO).  As an NPO, we will deliver a high-quality cultural offer to library users and local communities across the county over the next four years.

“Libraries are already regarded as community hubs, bringing people together in a safe and open space to benefit from access to a range of reading, digital, information and health and wellbeing services.

“This new funding means that we can build on that to make libraries even more engaging, enlightening and inspiring spaces for everyone in the community.”

Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England said:

“This is an exceptionally strong portfolio of organisations delivering great arts and cultural experiences to audiences throughout the South West.

“We are delighted to be making a significant increase in our investment in Devon with some truly exciting new organisations joining the portfolio who will help us to give more people in more places opportunities to engage in, and be inspired by, arts and culture.”

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