Cumbernauld and Kilsyth libraries under new management

LIBRARIES and community centres are set to be managed the same way as the Tryst Centre by being run as a charitable trust.

The change will get underway on Monday, April 1, when Culture NL comes into being, after North Lanarkshire Council decided to change its way of delivering cultural services. The new organisation will be able to apply for external grants and lottery funding.

The move is chiefly to save money as Cultural NL’s charitable status will be exempt from rates payments and will be headed up by the Kilsyth woman who became a Labour councillor last year.

Councillor Heather McVey was recently appointed chairwoman of the Culture NL Board and she stressed that the time is right for the change.

She said: “We’re aiming to provide a sustainable future for cultural services while at the same time protecting jobs.

“I believe this is a great opportunity to improve cultural services throughout North Lanarkshire. We’re keen to reach new audiences and the new structure will allow our services to operate in a quicker, more responsive way and develop new creative partnerships and initiatives.

“In the short term our customers won’t notice a huge difference, however, in the longer term we’re confident that we can make big improvements to the range and quality of services we offer,’’ she added,

Meanwhile speculation that a local library is under threat of closure has been dismissed by NLC staff.

Rumours had circulated round Abronhill that the local library was under threat, after a campaign poster gave the impression that it could go the same way as Abronhill High School which will close next year.

However, a council spokesman said: “There are no current proposals to close any library in North Lanarkshire.”