Libraries Connected is pleased to launch our ambitious Regional Development Programme, with the appointment of an expert team.
The programme will develop our nine regional public library networks into strategic partnerships that can deliver social impacts at scale, funded by investment from national, regional, and sub-regional sources.
Arts Council England has provided a grant of £450,000 over the next three years, with an additional grant of £90,000 from The Combined Regions.The funding has supported Libraries Connected to appoint a new Regional Development Team, and to provide a pot of funding for each region to help kick start strategic projects.
The new Regional Team consists of project administrator Chad Bentley and two Regional Development Managers, Nick Partridge and Tabitha Witherick who have extensive experience as heads of library service and working within regional structures. The team will work closely with regional groups of Heads of Service to understand their needs for growth into resilient networks able to seek funding and deliver innovative library services at scale.
This is a vital time for library services to work together to maximise resources, share skills and advocate for future investment. I feel so lucky to be able to use my experience to support and enable the regional networks to secure new income and amplify the impact of libraries.
I am excited to bring my experience to the Libraries Connected Regional networks in the next stage of their development. I am looking forward to ensuring public libraries and their incredible work continue to reach the people who need them most.
Luke Burton, Director Libraries, Arts Council England, said:
We are delighted to continue funding Libraries Connected as one of our Investment Principles Support Organisations. They are a key partner for the Arts Council in supporting English public libraries and the critical work they do to help their communities. The appointment of skilled, knowledgeable and well-respected library leaders to these roles will enable Libraries Connected to develop tailored support at a regional level, help libraries strengthen their place-based working and demonstrate the value and impact of libraries in and for communities.
Further information on the Regional Development Project can be obtained by emailing email@example.com.