Central Library to form new development trust

A new charity will be formed to support additional activities of Manchester Central Library intended to complement and add value to Manchester City Council’s major ongoing commitment to core services.

The Manchester Central Library Development Trust will initially seek funds to enhance and enrich the huge transformation project of the Grade II listed building. It will allow the Library to apply for major grants and enable tax-effective giving as part of a capital fundraising campaign. Once established, the Development Trust will seek a number of high level awards from charitable Trusts and Foundations and major donations from the burgeoning ranks of wealthy philanthropists.

Central Library is due to re-open in early 2014 as a world class complex of international significance. It will completely transform the way library, information and archive services are delivered, building on new opportunities available to reflect the needs and aspirations of customers in the 21st century. Exciting and stimulating areas will be developed for visitors to relax, learn, collaborate, entertain and socialise in. Improved access through a new circulation core on the ground floor will greatly enhance the customer experience. Wide-open spaces will accentuate the building's impressive architecture in an attractive and welcoming environment where people of all ages can participate in learning opportunities, performances and a range of other activities. Technology will make the collections more accessible than ever, opening the city's treasure chest to real and virtual visitors across the world.

Councillor Mike Amesbury, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure for Manchester City Council, said: "Central Library is one of Manchester's treasures and when it re-opens it will be better, brighter and more accessible to the public. The council has invested substantially in this much-loved building, and will continue to invest in and run it.

"But establishing an independent charitable trust will allow the library to access extra sources of funding which a council cannot tap into - both from other trusts and foundations and from private philanthropists.

"Funding generated by the new trust would be used to add to and enhance the Library's already impressive facilities, ensuring a world-class library of which Manchester people can be rightly proud. Central Library has a lot of tradition behind it but it also has a very exciting future, and the development trust will give both the business community and private donors a chance to be involved with one of the city's cultural icons."

Individuals, companies and grant-giving trusts interested in exploring a range of opportunities to be involved in the transformation of Manchester Central Library should contact Head of Libraries, information and Archives, Neil MacInnes, on 0161 234 1392 or n.macinnes@manchester.gov.uk

For more information about Manchester City Council please visit: www.manchester.gov.uk/libraries

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