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Library Facilities

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 22 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding the Government are providing for the improvement of library facilities. (79185)

Government funding for public libraries is paid, un-ringfenced, as part of the Local Government Financial Settlement administered by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

It is for the 149 library authorities in England to decide upon the level of funding required to sustain and improve their services bearing in mind their statutory responsibility to make comprehensive and efficient provision.

The public library statistics published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy show that library authorities made net expenditure (excluding capital charges) of £817,216,604 in 2004-05 (the latest figure available). The comparable figure for the previous year was £781,990,546.

Additional examples of funding for improved public libraries from within my Department’s portfolio are the £120 million of National Lottery support for the People’s Network, around £130 million of DCMS Private Finance Initiative Credits for library or part library projects, and the ongoing DCMS funding of £2 million per annum for the Framework for the Future Action Plan programme. I also look forward to the Big Lottery Fund’s £80 million community library funding programme which will be launched later this year.

My Department is also responsible for sponsorship of the British Library, the UK's national library. Grant in aid funding to the British Library over the 2004 Spending Review period is as follows:

£ million


Estimated outturn









DCMS Annual Report 2006