Warwickshire council offers community library funds

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People are being offered the chance to set up their own community library thanks to a £100,000 council fund.

Warwickshire County Council would own the library buildings and lease them at a peppercorn rent for a year to community groups with a business case.

A lease may remain at the low rent rent or less than market value for up to five years, subject to a yearly review.

Tenants would pay full market rent after five years. Sixteen libraries may shut due to funding cuts in the county.

John Beaumont, from the Friends of Bulkington Library, one of the 16 that may close, said: "It's a significant statement, it's positive and it's something we would really welcome."

Voices for the Library, which aims to support local campaigns to save libraries, has expressed concerns over financial help and the sustainability of the proposal.

Lauren Smith, from the group, said: "It's very important for councils not to be just handing out money but to also be giving support from professionals.

"It's not necessarily the case the money will continue to come in and at some point a community group will be expected to run a very complex system."

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