Fringe Box



Performing Arts Library Charity Gets County Council Approval

Published on: 1 Mar, 2019
Updated on: 3 Mar, 2019

Supporters of NewSPAL at Surrey County Hall

By Rebecca Curley

local democracy reporter

There was applause from the public gallery as councillors approved the business plan for a newly established charity to take on the county’s “valued” performing arts collection.

After almost a year in the making, members of NewSPAL (Surrey Performing Arts Library) found out on Tuesday (February 26) that their attempts to take on running the library had been approved.

The library, previously housed at Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, faced an uncertain future last year when Surrey County Council proposed funding cuts.

It is thought that more than 160,000 people benefit from the collection of sheet music, plays, dramas and other performing arts books – one of only a few in the country specialising in renting out the work.

But this week cabinet members voted unanimously to grant the agreement with the charity to transfer the collection into their hands.

The process could still take two years and NewSPAL need to find a new home so in the meantime SCC will continue to run the service from Ewell LIbrary.

Woking Borough Council has offered some rent-free accommodation but this has not yet been confirmed, according to papers presented to councillors on Tuesday.

There was a jubilant atmosphere in the room at Surrey County Hall as councillors welcomed the move.

Deputy council leader Colin Kemp said: “This is a good news story.”

He said it was a “very valued collection” used by hundreds of people in the county including schools and added: “I wish them all the luck in the future.”

Cllr Julie Iles, lead member for all age learning, said: “It’s a very good example of working with different partners to secure a good outcome.”

Council leader Tim Oliver said: “I know it’s been a long journey to get to this point but definitely worthwhile and worth all the effort.”

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *