Extra £225k means no cut in Carrickfergus Library opening hours

A protest was held in June over the proposed cuts at Carrickfergus Library. INCT 27-725-CON
A protest was held in June over the proposed cuts at Carrickfergus Library. INCT 27-725-CON

Extra funding will ensure a proposed reduction in Carrickfergus Library opening hours will not now go ahead.

The Joymount location was facing a cut in opening by five hours per week.

However, Communities Minister Paul Givan has announced he will be providing Libraries NI with an additional £225,000.

It follows a public consultation on reducing opening hours at 14 local libraries, including Carrickfergus, with more than 8,000 responses received.

Mr Givan said: “The views of people are important in any public consultation and the responses received during the Libraries NI consultation has been clearly heard, both by the organisation and by me as minister.

“People care deeply about this important resource based in their local communities which is why I am delighted to be in a position to announce this additional funding of £225,000.

“This money will allow Libraries NI to address some of the financial pressures that the organisation like so many others are currently facing.”

Welcoming this announcement, Irene Knox, chief executive of Libraries NI, said: “I am very grateful to the minister for his support for the public library service and his recognition of the important role of libraries in communities. This additional funding is most welcome and will mean that the reduction in opening hours, planned for November will not now be required.

“Among the responses to the public consultation there are many examples of the difference that libraries have made, and continue to make, to the lives of people of all ages. It is heartening to read their stories and within the resources that are available to us, we will continue to develop and deliver services that meet identified need.”