East Midlands sees biggest drop in libraries in the country

There has been a drop in the number of libraries in the region Credit: PA

The East Midlands has seen the largest drop in the number of its libraries since 2010 according to a new survey.

  • The number of libraries is down 6.1%, from 313 to 296

  • Spending is down from £62 to £56 million

  • Visits are down 6.9%, from 17.7 to 16.4 million

Meanwhile the West Midlands fared better than most other places in the country.

  • The number of libraries is down 2.6%, from 304 to 296

  • Spending is down from 6.8% to £93 to £86 million

  • Visits are down 5.8%, from 22.9 to 21.6 million

Figures released by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) also found visits to libraries across the UK have fallen by 14%.

Library funding has been cut by more than £180 million over the same period.

The survey also found a total of 106 libraries closed across the UK in 2014/15.

Elsewhere England's libraries fell from 3,142 to 3,076, while in Scotland the total dropped by just 1%, from 573 to 567. Wales suffered the biggest drop in thelast year, losing 11%, from 308 to 274.

The survey reports an increase in volunteering by 19% in 2014/15.

The number of full-time paid library staff dropped by 4% over the same period.

Our annual library survey makes for grim reading. Cost cutting measures continue to hit unprotected services hard and fewer people are using public libraries. Yet there is some hope. Volunteer numbers have nearly doubled over the past five years. Tens of thousands of people are now giving their time to make sure these precious resource survive.

Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of CIPFA

A spokesperson from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said:

We know that libraries continue to be popular but that people want different things from them. That's why the Government set up the Libraries Task Force to help them improve things like digital access and e-lending. We have also made free wifi available in Libraries around England and this year some new state-of-the-art facilities have opened providing new technology to the local people they serve."

Government spokesperson