Library hours cuts ‘shelved’

Carla Lockhart at Lurgan Library.
Carla Lockhart at Lurgan Library.
  • Libraries due to lose nine hours per week were Belfast Central, Bangor Carnegie, Derry Central, Lisburn City and Omagh
  • Libraries due to lose five hours per week were Lurgan, Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Dungannon, Enniskillen, Finaghy, Glengormley and Newry
  • A total of 309,756 people used libraries in 2013-14 – a 3% increase on the year before

Proposed cuts to opening hours at Lurgan Library have been shelved.

Libraries across Northern Ireland have been given an additional £225,000 to ensure opening hours are maintained.

Lurgan was among 14 libraries across Northern Ireland facing a cut in hours.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart welcomed the announcement by her party colleague Communities Minister Paul Givan: “Upon hearing the news that Lurgan Library opening hours were to be reduced I immediately made representation to the Minister concerning this matter and objected wholeheartedly to the proposed changes.

“I value the place that Lurgan library has within the community. I recognise the hard work of the staff, and the efforts that have been made to deliver programmes and activities that meet the needs of our communities.

“I am delighted that the Minister has listened to the concerns of the public, and elected representatives and has been able to fund a further £225,000 to ensure that Lurgan library and many others remains and integral part of our townscape.

“They are a vital community asset and have an important role in delivering social and economic change.”

Mr Givan said: “The views of people are important in any public consultation and the responses received during the Libraries NI consultation has been clearly heard, both by the organisation and by me as minister.”