Kibworth Library in limbo

Groups of volunteers have expressed an interest in running two of the district’s three under-threat libraries but Kibworth Library faces an uncertain future.

The Kibworth facility is one of seven out of 36 county libraries whose future is hanging in the balance.

Community groups have come forward to say they are prepared to run the libraries in Fleckney and Great Glen.

Leicestershire County Council said on Monday that it welcomed the news volunteers have come forward for the majority of the libraries and will now look at how it can encourage the remaining seven to be run for free by community groups.

Richard Blunt, the county council’s cabinet member for libraries, said: “I’m delighted that groups have expressed an interest in running 29 of our libraries.

“I have always said that communities can help their libraries become vibrant centres, hosting a wide range of services and activities.

“Hopefully, the interest of the first 29 will inspire the remaining seven areas to submit their own bids, later this year.”

The county council runs 52 libraries but has agreed to cut opening hours at its 16 main libraries and encourage the community to run the remaining 36 in order to save £800,000 from its overall £5.6m libraries budget.

The community volunteer groups will now have to outline a business case to the council by March.

A group called Lark (Libraries and Resources Kibworth) had initially expressed an interest in running Kibworth Library but pulled back when it found out £12,000 a year was needed.