Are Carnegie Libraries protected by Trust status?

Graham Winckles wrote...

Are Carnegie Libraries protected by Trust status?

In Crosby, our 108 yr old Carnegie Library has been closed by the Council and our community group is seeking to take it over as a library/community hub. We are trying to ascertain whether in making his financial gift Andrew Carnegie insisted on establishing locally run Trusts to protect his commitment. Are Hub Members aware of a national trend regarding Carnegie Trusts?

Your answers

Anton Schultz wrote...

Hi Graham

It is likely that the title deeds include a covenant that set out any restrictions for use to help protect the intention of the gift. I would suggest that you make a formal request for a copy of the title deeds so you can have a look. You should be able to make use of a freedom of information request if they don't provide willingly.

There are some libraries which were originally provided under the scope of the Literary and Scientific Institutions Act 1854 (LSIA) LSIA provides for a right of reverter; as originally expressed, if the site ceased to be used for the purposes for which it was donated, then ownership would revert back to the original owners. You can read more of that and it's implications in this legal note:

There are certainly several examples of Carnegie libraries that communities are seeking to protect accross the country.

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