A new chapter for Herts libraries thanks to share in £93k funding pot

Hemel Hempstead Library, Combe Street
Hemel Hempstead Library, Combe Street

The county’s libraries are in for a funding boost after being chosen among 10 services in the east of England to benefit from a £93,000 grant.

The funding will be split across the local authorities, which include Herts, in order to develop a joint summer reading and arts programme for young people this year.

Awarded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the money will help library services to work with young artists and volunteers to create unique reading activities, including summer holiday workshops and activities for older children.

Herts County Council cabinet member for libraries Frances Button said: “I’m delighted that we have received this funding, which can be used by our library services for a variety of art and reading-based projects for children of all ages.”

The partner authorities in the Eastern region include neighbouring Central Beds and Luton.

The encouraging news comes less than a fortnight after the closing of Herts County Council’s public consultation into the future of libraries in the county.

The consultation, held in advance of the creation of a 10-year strategy for libraries, received 14,000 responses up until the closing date on December 31.

Results on the survey are expected to be reported to the cabinet panel in March where next steps will then be discussed.

A talk on the subject was held in Hemel Hempstead’s South Hill Centre in November, but just five people turned out to debate the matter.

At the meet, assistant director of customer services and libraries Taryn Pearson revealed there are already plans for the town’s central library but that they were at the ‘very early stages’.