Friday 23 February 2024
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How much did your Nottinghamshire library receive in Government Covid support?

The organisation which operates Nottinghamshire’s libraries was hit by more than £1.6 million in losses related to the pandemic but received Government grants.

Inspire, the independent charity responsible for managing the service on behalf of Nottinghamshire County Council, estimates the financial implications from Covid-19 were around £1,636,000.

This includes a slump in income of around £780,000, with the charity saying it could take until the end of the current financial year to completely recover.

The income losses come from services including libraries and archives, music teaching, education library services and adult learning fees, all of which were halted by the first lockdown in March 2020.

The charity estimates it has incurred a further £334,000 in additional costs, including making buildings Covid-secure and deploying ICT to enable staff and students to work from home.

In the remaining part of the financial year, additional income losses of £236,000 and further fees of £286,000 amount to an expected £522,000 hit before April 2022.

However, the organisation has revealed it managed to maintain its finances by applying for Government Covid grants to bring in lost income.

Since the start of the pandemic, the charity has received £506,000 from the job retention (furlough) scheme, helping to ensure none of its 688 staff faced redundancy.

It also received more than £1 million in Government business grants spread across its libraries and community arts centres, supporting with implementing Covid safety measures.

This includes £702,340 from the retail, hospitality and leisure grant, £168,900 in business rates relief and a further £163,342 from the restart grant.

It means, overall, thanks to the Government support, the organisation has only been hit with losses of around £95,000 since March last year.

Speaking on the financial pressures experienced by Inspire, the charity’s chief executive Peter Gaw described the pandemic as a “perfect storm” of lost income and extra costings.

He said: “We have quickly remodelled our budget to look at what the impact of Covid is on our finances.

“Our aspiration was to mitigate the potential of having to make staff redundancies or a reduction in services, and so we took advantage of Government retail and leisure grants, the business rates holidays and the job retention scheme.

“What we’ve been really careful to do is to make sure we only drew on funding that would meet our financial pressures, pressure caused by lack of income, the additional costs of making our sites Covid-secure, buying hand gel, PPE, screens and extra cleaning.

“It’s a perfect storm of income reduction and extra costs. We were careful and our board have been focused on balancing out.”

Libraries across Nottinghamshire began reopening their doors in July 2020 following the first lockdown, operating at reduced capacity and opening hours.

However, the organisation made adjustments to offer altered services – including moving its archives online and using technology to reduce face-to-face contact.

Mr Gaw confirmed many services are expected to begin operating at full capacity from September.

He said: “Our ambition is very much starting to return our opening hours and delivery services back.

“Over the last couple of weeks, especially given the quarantining rules of books has eased, we have been able to expand opening hours where we can.

“There are practicalities because we need to make sure we’re operating alongside whatever restrictions are in place, but our aspiration is to do this.

“Our ambition is that by September we will be fully operational, but most of our libraries have got increasing levels of opening hours.”

Documents from Inspire have confirmed exactly how much each of its libraries and centres received in Government grants during the pandemic.

This is broken down below:

Arnold Library: £16,122

Balderton Library: £14,973

Balmoral Library: £13,051

Beeston Library: £33,896

Bilsthorpe Library: £14,821

Bingham Public Library: £33,432

Bircotes Library: £14,945

Blidworth Library: £32,628

Burton Joyce Library: £13,422

Calverton Library: £14,075

Calrton Hall Library: £28,409

Carlton Library: £16,464

Carlton-in-Lindrick Library: £14,078

Clipstone Library: £14,494

Collingham Library: £14,596

Community Arts Centre TOL: £33,048

Cotgrave Library: £35,352

East Leake Branch Library: £15,793

Eastwood Library: £33,576

Edgewood Library: £12,920

Edwinstowe Library: £14,820

Forest Town Library: £12,864

Gedling Library: £13,774

Hucknall Library: £33,173

Huthwaite Library: £31,249

Keyworth Library: £32,665

Kimberley Library: £13,979

Kirkby-in-Ashfied Library: £32,828

Ladybrook Library: £13,627

Langold Library: £13,373

Mansfield Central Library: £32,240

Mansfield Woodhouse Library: £33,144

Mapperley Library: £13,767

Misterton Library: £13,060

Newark Library: £35,576

Ollerton Library: £33,752

Radcliffe on Trent Library: £15,012

Ravenshead Library: £13,768

Retford Library: £7,127

Ruddington Public Library: £14,935

Skegby and Stanton Hill Library: £13,708

Southwell Library: £16,424

Stapleford Library: £33,531

Sutton-in-Ashfield Library: £20,088

Toton Library: £13,512

Warsop Library: £14,976

West Bridgford Library: £14,976

Woodthorpe Library: £13,435

Worksop Library (The HUB): £20,133

Worksop Temporary Library: £28,994