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London organisation could run county’s libraries including Grantham

Grantham Library EMN-150910-164630001
Grantham Library EMN-150910-164630001

A London organisation called Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is being recommended to run Grantham library and other major libraries in the county.

On December 1, Lincolnshire County Council’s Executive will be asked to take a decision on the future of Lincolnshire’s library services.

In April, the authority had to begin a search for an external organisation to deliver these services on its behalf, following an approach by GLL.

It received six applications, with GLL, Vision and Vivacity being shortlisted.

Now, having evaluated the organisations’ final bids, officers are recommending that library services be outsourced to GLL.

If the Executive decides to award a contract, it would mean that GLL would take on the running the county’s 15 major libraries, along with online services and specialist support for those unable to reach their nearest library because of, for instance, disability, age or ill health.

GLL will also help support the library services delivered at around 30 community hubs that are being developed in partnership with local groups.

Coun Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “All the finalists submitted good bids, but officers believe our best option is to outsource our library services to GLL.

“We’ve worked hard to get the best possible deal, and are confident that GLL can provide both significant savings and improved performance.

“I’m sure the Executive will give this matter careful consideration, and take the decision that is in the best interests of taxpayers.

“In the meantime, we continue to work with local groups to get the new community hubs up and running. Eighteen have already opened their doors to the public, with a further 16 on the way.

“I’m sure the end result of all this hard work will be a new-and-improved library service that not only provides better value for money, but is also better suited to the 21st century.”

If the Executive decides to accept the officers’ recommendation, GLL would begin delivering library services in April 2016.

GLL is a non-profit organisation which runs over 115 sport and leisure facilities and libraries on behalf of local authorities in London and elsewhere in England.

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