We are delighted to announce that Libraries Connected has secured funding from Arts Council England for the next two years through its 2023-26 Investment Programme.
Libraries Connected will have Investment Principle Support Organisation (IPSO) status, meaning we will support public library services to embed the Arts Council's Investment Principles (Ambition & Quality, Dynamism, Environmental Responsibility and Inclusivity & Relevance) in their work. This will enable us to deliver key projects and activities in our strategic plan, which we launched this week.
Arts Council England has awarded us annual IPSO funding of £509,000 for two years initially – we will have the opportunity to apply for a third year’s funding if we establish our main office outside London. This will be through a separate programme launching in autumn 2024.
We are thrilled that 17 other library sector organisations will also receive Arts Council England funding through the 2023-26 Investment Programme:
- Association of Senior Children's and Education Librarians
- Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
- Community and Cultural Services (Cambridge)
- Culture, Learning and Libraries (Midlands) - Library Service (Nottingham)
- East Riding Libraries
- Explore York Libraries and Archives Mutual Limited
- Gloucestershire Libraries & Information
- Hull Culture and Leisure Library Services
- Kent County Council Libraries
- Libraries Unlimited South West
- London Borough of Barking and Dagenham
- London Borough of Merton
- Sefton Libraries
- South Tyneside Council
- St Helens Council Library Service
- Suffolk Libraries
- Warwickshire Libraries
Ayub Khan MBE, President of Libraries Connected, commented:
We’re thrilled that Arts Council England has selected Libraries Connected as an Investment Principle Support Organisation, continuing the generous support it has provided since we launched as a charity in 2018.
Our name says it all – we harness the power of collaboration, bringing libraries together to provide mutual support, share expertise and work in partnership. With IPSO funding secured, we can put into motion a series of ambitious projects that will strengthen and shape the public library service so that it can meet the challenges ahead.
We’d like to extend our congratulations to the library services that have joined or remained in the portfolio. Their success reflects their commitment to providing a first-class library service at the heart of their communities, while supporting the wider libraries sector. We look forward to working closely with them over the coming years.
Luke Burton, Director Libraries, Arts Council England said:
We are delighted that Libraries Connected will become an Investment Principle Support Organisation (IPSO) and that we can continue to fund them to deliver the invaluable support and representation they provide for heads of service. This was demonstrated powerfully during the pandemic, as Libraries Connected stepped up to help services and their leadership teams adapt and respond in order to support the communities they serve, positioning them as key workers and critical services.
We look forward to strengthening our existing partnership with Libraries Connected as it imbeds our investment principles in the library services they support. Alongside the 16 library services and one other IPSO in the portfolio, we are excited to work together to support a vibrant, essential and diverse libraries sector.