It was announced on Monday 10th June that Levenshulme Library will stay open for the next two years in its current building before being transferred to the new joint facility on Stockport Road in 2015 to sit alongside new gym, fitness facilities and swimming pools as part of a £6.5m investment in Levenshulme.
Neil MacInnes (Manchester City Council Head of Libraries, Information and Archives) was joined by Amanda Thain (Head at Levenshulme High School for Girls) and Jeremy Hoad (Chair, Friends of Levenshulme Library) to make the stunning announcement.
Shocked and delighted residents were told that plans were in place for the High School to take over running of the building working in partnership with the Council and the community. In sometimes emotional scenes residents were informed that the school would use the building during weekday mornings as a support facility for pupils with a handover around 2pm each day for public access for library use into the early evening. The library would also open all day on Saturdays each week.
Representing residents Hoad said, “This is win, win, win for the school, for the council and above all for the people of Levenshulme.”
The new arrangements will release £10,000 of community CASH Grant funding for other uses that had been previously allocated to underpin a detailed business and development plan drafted by Hoad working with Levenshulme and Gorton South councillors.
As Levenshulme library would require no Council funding for the next two years this will also benefit the other five communities whose libraries are under threat with an additional £87,000 allocated by the Council now available for distribution across the other five libraries rather than being stretched to include Levenshulme. Resources allocated to support staff for the proposed new community outreach libraries will also be freed up to support other communities across Manchester.
Details are to be worked out fully over the next few weeks with new arrangements being implemented over the summer before a full transition by September 2013.