Formal process for ideas for community buildings now open

Mackworth library exterior

Thu 30 Mar 2023

The city’s not-for-profit organisations are being invited to formally register their interest in running a variety of services from ten council buildings.

Derby City Council has been exploring ways to develop greater partnerships and meet the changing needs of the city’s communities.

In July 2022, Community Action Derby reviewed the operation of Derby’s ten community libraries and explored models that could co-locate services in a “Community Hub Model” within buildings currently used to host community-managed libraries.

As part of the budget consultation with Derby residents in December 2022, organisations were asked to put forward their ideas for running services from these community buildings.

A variety of wide-ranging ideas were submitted and now a formal Expression of Interest process to identify viable proposals is open.

All not-for-profit organisations - including community groups, charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises - are eligible. They have until 9 May to submit an Expression of Interest form.

The Council hopes to receive proposals which:  

  • meet the needs of the local community 
  • could continue to deliver library services in the building
  • could deliver a range of community, public and potentially private sector services 
  • offer added value to local community, surrounding locality and attract new users  
  • improve the facilities to ensure their future viability.  

As part of their application, organisations need to show that they have the knowledge, experience, and resources or support to manage one or more buildings or spaces to deliver a range of services.

Proposals will be evaluated, and organisations that are successful in the initial application round will be invited to apply to stage two later this year.

Interested organisations can find out more about the buildings and spaces and the application process at a special event at the Council House on Tuesday 4 April from 1pm to 7pm.

Claire Davenport, Director of Leisure, Culture and Tourism said:

“Often a good way of enabling community facilities to serve local needs is by providing opportunities for communities themselves to run and manage them.

“We very much look forward to hearing from groups interested in this significant opportunity to create community hubs in existing library buildings, where there is the potential for a wide array of services to be co-located.

“The response to our call for ideas for using our library buildings as part of the budget consultations was very positive, with some innovative suggestions put forward. We’re now urging organisations and groups to formally submit those proposals.

“Each building is different, and this is a chance for the city’s voluntary groups and organisations to show off their creative ideas and talents.”

The city’s ten community-managed libraries have been operated by Direct Help and Advice (DHA) since 2018 and will transfer back to the Council from April 2023 while the Expression of Interest process takes place.

The ten community library buildings are Allestree, Allenton, Blagreaves, Chaddesden Park, Chellaston, Derwent Community Library, Mackworth, Sinfin, Spondon and Springwood (Oakwood).

Derby’s five statutory libraries (Alvaston, Normanton, Mickleover, Riverside and Local Studies) are not affected by the proposals and these will continue to be operated by the Council.