Alt Valley Community Trust

Alt Valley Community Trust

11th Aug 2011
Alt Valley Community Trust have managed to transform Croxteth Community Library service, drive up use, and make significant savings to the authority in the process.

Since its opening in 2000, The Communiversity, operated by Alt Valley Community Trust has changed from an old person’s home into a Lifelong Learning Centre with a fine reputation as a quality education provider and community resource.

They now operate the library services under contract from the local authority. They initially became involved when they were approached by the council regarding talking over the local sports centre, having already established a strong reputation for managing community assets and public services.

At the time, the sports centre was host to the local library and both were financially unsustainable and suffering from under-use. Far from being an inviting place, the centre was protected by 2 security guards from 4:00-10:00 every evening.

 

After purchasing the sports centre, Alt Valley Trust set about reconfiguring the services, and ultimately moved the library out of the sports centre and relocated it within their Communiversity building nearby.

The library is now operated by 2 members of staff and one volunteer employed by the Trust.

The arrangement is very much a partnership with the local authority. The authority provides revenue funding through a service contract, as well as integration with the managements system and book stock of the wider service enabling inter-library loans, and collection / drop off from any library.

Engagement with the community is what has made this transfer a success. Book lending has gone up by 500%, and footfall has increased massively thanks to collocation with the centre. The library is now integrated with other community owned and oriented activity including a café, training and sports facilities. The result of connecting the activities has been a huge increase in use.