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Herefordshire Council Committed to Museum, Library & Archive Services

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Cabinet agreed a number of measures to ensure the future sustainability of museum, library and archive services

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Herefordshire Council has expressed its commitment to museums, libraries and archives as the cabinet committee today agreed a number of measures that includes developing a business case for investment in Hereford library and bringing new facilities for users, and funds to promote the Black and White House to boost visitor numbers and tourism along with measures to make the archive more available.

The recommendations also included starting a procurement process to see if there is a partner organisation who would run the services on behalf of the council including generating income and bringing in new people to use the centres. The councillors stressed this should only happen if there was a benefit and would not reduce quality of services, with a final decision only made when proposals have been fully evaluated.

Councillors at the meeting fully recognised the contribution of parish councils, volunteers and community groups in supporting the council with changes it has made including 6 out of 11 libraries now operating as community run libraries. There was also mention of the significant investment the council has made in these services in the last three years - something unusual amongst authorities facing financial challenges. These include a new library in Ledbury, new archive and record centre, refurbishment of the libraries and investment in the Black and White House museum.

Councillor Harry Bramer, Cabinet Member for contracts and assets said:

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“We know these services are important to people and for a number of years we have been involved in a planned programme of change which has meant we have kept them open and operational in a challenging financial environment.

“We are now looking to take the next step to see if there are ways we can continue to make the most of the services and sites to have them used even more”.

 

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