Libraries Get Spending Boost

The London Borough of Waltham Forest is investing an extra £3.3 million in its libraries.

Last year’s London Borough of Culture, which BDS supported by backing library-based events across the local authority, is bucking the national trend of cuts to local libraries after the huge successes of 2019.

“I’m delighted the Waltham Forest Council is investing so much in our libraries,” said Councillor Paul Douglas, Cabinet Member for Culture in the Council. “We know our residents value these vital community hubs around the borough.”

Last year BDS supported creative events across every library in the borough, including the Page to Pavement project, and the E17 Art Trail.

“BDS was delighted to be involved with events in libraries as part of Waltham Forest’s year of culture,” says Lesley Whyte, “and we are equally delighted that the success of those events has influenced the local authority’s decision to increase investment.”

Work is already underway on a new state-of-the-art library for the borough’s Wood Street area. The Carnegie Library in Lea Bridge Road is to receive restoration and expansion including furniture and a striking feature created from local reclaimed timber to minimise its carbon footprint, and a new landscaped community garden.

The Central Library, at the top of Walthamstow’s famous market, is also undergoing significant expansion. Other features across the borough will include on-site cafes, modern areas to work, get online or read, free events, educational classes and space to hire.

Leader of Waltham Forest Council, Clare Coghill, said: “I’d like to say a great big thank you to everyone who helped make our year such a huge success. I’m delighted to say we reached our target of 85 percent of residents joining in the thousands of events throughout the 12 months.”

For more information on Waltham Forest cultural events visit https://wfculture.co.uk/

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