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Suffolk Libraries to run the county's public library service for another five years

Suffolk Libraries has formally extended its contract with Suffolk County Council to run the county’s public library service for another five years.

In 2012, the service was transferred to Suffolk Libraries (officially called Suffolk’s Libraries Industrial and Provident Society) which is an independent and charitable organisation.

Suffolk County Council is still the statutory library authority, but contracts Suffolk Libraries to run the service on its behalf. Suffolk Libraries has a five-year contract with an option for a further five years. At the end of 2016 the Suffolk Libraries Board voted unanimously to trigger the five-year extension to the current contract from August 2017.

Tony Brown, chair of Suffolk Libraries’ Board said: "We are delighted to be renewing our contract with Suffolk County Council. We feel that Suffolk’s library service is in good hands and that Suffolk Libraries, with the foundation and support it has built up over the past five years, offers the best chance of successfully meeting the challenges ahead. We were also pleased to receive assurances from the county council about its commitment to the library service in Suffolk."

“There have been many highlights over the past five years; all 44 libraries are open, with an impressive range of activities, events and innovations, whilst saving a significant amount of money. The Suffolk Libraries Board would like to pay tribute to the extraordinary staff and enthusiastic members of the many community groups who have helped to make our story a success.”

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, Cllr Tony Goldson said: "Libraries play an integral part in the community and offer people so much more than simply book lending. They are increasingly becoming community hubs where people come together to socialise, access information on local services and hold events for people of all ages to enjoy.

"I am pleased Suffolk Libraries unanimously voted to extend their contract with us to continue running services for a further five years, and now we have signed the contract, I look forward to working with their team in months and years to come to continue delivering this valued service to Suffolk’s residents."