The Future Of Lambeth's Libraries

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 35 months ago
The Future Of Lambeth's Libraries

Carnegie Library. Photo: Valerie

Plans have been put forward to keep as many of Lambeth's libraries open as possible in the face of budget cuts.

It was originally thought that five of the borough's 10 libraries would close, with at least two of the buildings being sold off. However, new plans will see Greenwich Leisure Limited — the social enterprise company that runs Lambeth’s leisure centres — take on three of the current libraries, running them as not-for-profit healthy living centres.

These centres will be trialled at Carnegie, Minet and Tate South Lambeth libraries, each of which will incorporate library services — although how substantial these will be, remains to be seen.

Minet Library will continue to house Lambeth Archives until a new home is found.

Upper Norwood neighbourhood library, which is currently funded jointly between Lambeth and Croydon councils, will become the borough's first independent community-run library. Both councils will continue to fund it, albeit at a reduced rate.

A new town centre library in West Norwood is expected to include a cinema and cafe, subject to planning permission.

Waterloo Library will close by April 2016 but the plan is to partner with Oasis Charitable Trust to provide a neighbourhood library service at the Oasis Centre on Kennington Road.

No changes will take place to Brixton, Streatham, Clapham and West Norwood town library services.

Read more about the plans on the Lambeth News website. The changes will be discussed at a Lambeth Cabinet Meeting on 12 October.

While councils tend to get bad press for cuts in library and culture funding these days, it's not all gloom and doom. Streatham Tate Library reopened in 2014 after a £1.4million refurbishment, and Camberwell's new library is due to open on 4 November.

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Last Updated 06 October 2015