Lancashire County Council is selling six former library buildings, as it works to ensure people still have good access to good services close to where they live, whilst facing the need to make massive savings.
Six former libraries are up for sale, or due to go on the market shortly – Barrowford, Bolton-le-Sands, Earby, Freckleton, Fulwood, and Whalley.
These buildings are being sold as part of the council’s property strategy.
The strategy will reduce the number of buildings the council owns and rents and form a network of multi-functional buildings known as neighbourhood centres, which will provide a base for a range of different services in one place.
There will be changes to where some services are delivered in the future, including libraries, children’s services, children’s centres, young people’s centres, youth offending teams, older people’s daytime support services, adult disability day services and the registration service.
These buildings were initially offered to other public sector organisations, to consider if they could use the buildings for their own services.
County Councillor David Borrow, deputy leader of the county council, said: “These buildings are the first to go on sale following the county council’s decision to change how we deliver our services, and develop new neighbourhood centres with services designed for local needs.
“We’re faced with a very difficult budget position. In 2020/21 we will have a funding gap of £146m as a result of ongoing government cuts to our budget and rising demand for services.
“We looked into options for community groups to take on responsibility for these buildings, but unfortunately no viable plans came forward, so we’re looking to sell these buildings and bring in additional revenue.
“We don’t want to be in this position, but we have to make difficult decisions.
“People will still have good access to good services, whilst allowing the council to deliver some of the huge savings we need to make.”
Find out more by following links to ‘changes to our buildings’ at www.lancashire.gov.uk.