Further £47,500 to be given to Upper Norwood Library

Library receives funding. Pic: James Balston

Library receives funding. Pic: James Balston

Upper Norwood Library will receive a further £47,500 in funding from Croydon Council this year.

It is the only remaining independent, joint-funded public library in the country and is run by Croydon and Lambeth Councils.

Croydon Council has announced their pledge to increase the funding for the library over the next four years, which currently stands at £75,000 per annum, to match the amount that is currently provided by Lambeth Council.

Robert Gibson, co-chairman of the Upper Norwood Library Trust said: “It’s a remarkable contribution. We’re hugely grateful that new leaders in Croydon honoured the pledges made in the elections.”

Croydon’s pledge will reinstate the funding previously reduced in September 2012.

The Trust is considering looking into further funding and appointing a manager who will manage fundraising. Gibson said: “We’re prepared to roll up our sleeves and put in effort ourselves.”

Gibson told Eastlondonlines that the Trust has recently set up a digital inclusion project that teaches people how to get online who may not already know how to do so.

“It is increasingly important as things like benefits [welfare] move online. The Trust wants to use the building to offer more services and focus on it being a real hub for the community.”

The initiative has been supported by local Labour politicians for Croydon who “are showing a very progressive approach for the arts in Croydon.”

Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport said: “We are passionate about ensuring [that] Upper Norwood Library is a vibrant community hub”.

“[It] clearly has the popular support of many residents in that area. By increasing the funding Croydon provides we can help to breathe new life into the library and secure its long-term future.”

Upper Norwood Library serves the residents of Crystal Palace, and the five boroughs that meet in the district. The library is currently open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

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