Six private companies in the running to take over Lincolnshire’s libraries

Protesters are still fighting to save their libraries outside Lincolnshire County Council's offices in Lincoln. Photo: Ros Jackson. EMN-150127-163445001
Protesters are still fighting to save their libraries outside Lincolnshire County Council's offices in Lincoln. Photo: Ros Jackson. EMN-150127-163445001

Six organisations have shown an interest in running library services in Lincolnshire, including a private arm of East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council and the firm behind Grimsby Auditorium and North East Lincolnshire’s Libraries.

The authority is currently looking for an external organisation to potentially deliver library services on its behalf.

The successful bidder will be responsible for providing the new-look service approved by the council’s executive earlier this year.

The authority revealed this afternoon, Wednesday May 20, that it has received initial applications from:

* Compass Point Business Services - a joint venture between East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council

* Lincs Inspire - which already runs leisure services like Grimsby Auditorium and North East Lincolnshire’s Libraries.

* Greenwich Leisure Limited

* Leisure in the Community

* Vision

* Vivacity

Coun Nick Worth, Executive Member for Libraries, said: “Although we’re facing a second legal challenge, we believe we took the right decision and took it lawfully, so we intend to push on with our plans.

“The way in which our libraries are used has changed and it’s important they adapt with the times.

“In addition, we can’t ignore the fact that by the end of this decade the council’s overall budget will have been almost halved.

“We believe it’s only fair that the library service plays its part in finding the necessary savings.

“However, under our proposals, we can do this in a way that both saves money and creates a service that’s fit for the 21st century.”

An initial evaluation will now take place, with short-listed organisations then asked to submit a detailed bid. A final decision is expected to be made at the end of the year.