Arts Council provide funding for electric mobile library

Worcestershire County Council has secured over £300,000 to replace one of their mobile library vans with a new electric mobile library and outreach vehicle.

The money has ultimately been provided by the Arts Council through the Libraries Improvement Fund element of the Cultural Investment Fund (the other two being the Cultural Development Fund and Museum Estate and Development Fund).

book lot on table

Funding in round 3 of the LIF totalled £10.5 million, with grants between £50,000 to £499,999 available to local authorities making an application on behalf of a library service in England.

Needless to say, Worcestershire’s application to use LIF funding for an electric vehicle is not representative of the sort of applications that the fund usually receives. In the second round money was typically allocated to building projects 

Hannah Perrott, Assistant Director for Communities added: ‘We are thrilled to receive this grant, which will enable us to modernise our mobile library service and better serve the diverse needs of Worcestershire communities through innovative outreach initiatives.’

This funding has been described as a welcome boost for people living across the county. The mobile library visits 160 villages in Worcestershire every four to five weeks, bringing library services to customers unable to travel to a static library as well as providing a social focus for local residents to meet up .

The introduction of a new electric vehicle will not only enhance the reliability and sustainability of Worcestershire’s mobile library service but also pave the way for a new library outreach programme across the county.

The programme will include visits to schools, where it will instil a love for reading in children, digital skills support sessions and hosting services focused on improving health and wellbeing.

One mobile library customer said: ‘ver the years, the mobile library service has added to the sense of community in rural areas as well as providing a social function for the community.’

Another praised the service saying, ‘I can go weeks without seeing or speaking to anyone, so this is essential for my mental health.’



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