ST HELENS Libraries will receive £110,000 further funding from Arts Council England to continue the mission to make the area a cultural hotbed. 

In 2017 it was announced the libraries and the Heart of Glass would receive funding from ACE from 2018-2022 after being recognised among the Arts Council’s national portfolio.

The Council Library Service will receive £440,000, with its Cultural Hubs: Arts in Libraries programme having won widespread praise.
Last October head of Arts Council England Darren Henley came to St Helens to speak to industry leaders at Saints stadium about how the creative sector can benefit the borough.

He said: “I often use St Helens as an example of a place where lives have been changed by sustained strategic investment in arts and culture."

Plans for the latest funds, which cover 2019/20, include developing regular audiences and attracting new people to enjoy the arts through a broad programme of activities that appeal to residents.
The team also aims to link the programme back to reading and the joy of books.

There will be more activity during core library opening hours and increased delivery in partnership with schools and voluntary sector youth groups. Opportunities for residents to get more involved in the selection of events will be increased.

And there will be plans to develop their relationship with local artists through commissions and opportunities for amateurs, students, emerging and established artists.

Arts Council north director, Alison Clark, said: “St Helens Cultural Hubs Programme will continue to provide opportunities for people to engage in the arts in inclusive and welcoming spaces. As the only library in the north of England that is a member of the Arts Council’s national portfolio of regularly funded organisations, we will continue to work with St Helens Library Service to support their ambitions to deliver engaging, innovative work."

  • St Helens' Central Library remains closed, with its ceiling in need of significant repairs. Services continue across the borough's network of community libraries.