How we use Cookies

£4m needed to repair city libraries

Call for investment in community libraries after data uncovered under the Freedom of Information Act

Kings Heath Library needs a £400 new roof
Kings Heath Library needs a £400 new roof

It will cost £4 million to repair Birmingham’s network of community libraries a campaign group has discovered.

The Friends of Libraries group is now calling for investment in the libraries to protect them from further damage and closure after uncovering the data under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to Birmingham City Council 20 of its 39 libraries need repairs costing £100,000 or more – with Hall Green and Kings Heath both needing new roofs at costs of £300,000 and £400,000 respectively.

Kingstanding Library needs a complete £300,000 refurbishment including windows, decoration, lighting, flooring, heating and shelves,

The Friends say that in the wake of the opening of the Library of Birmingham, the community network should not be forgotten, especially as the council will be making £7 million a year repayments on loans to cover the £189 million construction costs for the next 40 years. At the same time just £236,000 has been earmarked for local library repairs this year.

Spokeswoman for the Friends Jolyon Jones said: “The cost of one years capital charges on the Library of Birmingham would more than cover the cost of repairs to the local libraries.

“In the year of the opening of our magnificent new library we call on the city council to make a commitment to find the capital to repair our local libraries.”

The city council is currently considering the future of local libraries and council leader Sir Albert Bore says he cannot rule out closures of some facilities.

Ms Jones said they are concerned that community libraries with the most expensive repairs may be vulnerable for closure.

Speaking earlier this month Coun Bore also said the city council would be looking to move some services to other less costly premises.

Journalists

Graeme Brown
Editor (Agenda and Business)
Enda Mullen
Business Reporter
Tamlyn Jones
Business Reporter
Neil Elkes
Local Government Correspondent
Emma McKinney
Education Correspondent
Ben Hurst
News Editor
Jonathan Walker
Political Editor