Surrey County Council has launched a public consultation on the future of its award-winning Performing Arts Library, in the wake of ‘unprecedented’ pressure to reduce spending.
Cuts to funding, rising costs and increased demand for key council services mean the library must make savings of at least £180,000 before next April to secure its future.
The consultation sets out three scenarios currently being considered by the council: separating the stock and distributing it across a number of different libraries in the county’s network; transferring ownership to a third-party organisation; or closing the service entirely.
Mark Welling, Chairman of the Friends of Surrey Performing Arts Library, said: ‘The Surrey Performing Arts Library is unique. It has one of the best collections in the country of orchestral, choir and drama sets as well as CDs, DVDs, scores and books related to the performing arts.
‘We all understand the financial pressures on local authorities but the loss or severe cutting back of Surrey Performing Arts Library would have a major adverse effect on the many groups and individuals who, directly or indirectly, use it’.
The library also houses an important collection of artifacts relating to composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who lived locally.
The Friends of Surrey Performing Arts Library are interested in hearing from anyone who might be able to assist with securing the long-term future of the library, and are urging respondents to the consultation to support option 2.
The public consultation closes on 17 September and is available to view online at surreycc.gov.uk/shapingspal.