New mobile library coming soon

25 Mar 2024
Mobile library

North Somerset Libraries have secured more than £309k in funding through the Libraries Improvement Fund (LIF), administered by Arts Council England, to purchase a new electric library outreach vehicle. 

This will replace the current mobile library, which runs on diesel, and will be one of the first electric mobile vehicles in the country. 

North Somerset’s mobile library service is deeply valued by residents, as it provides a valuable library outreach service to rural areas and small towns without libraries. One customer said: “It’s a great community asset for the more rural villages in North Somerset and really important for keeping villages alive.” 

As well as the £309k of funding, North Somerset Council will contribute additional in-kind support and match funding of £40,000 from section 106 funds for library services. 

The library team aims to tender for a vehicle in the summer. It’s hoped that the new mobile library will be ready to go on the road in autumn 2025. 

Councillor Mike Solomon, North Somerset Council’s Liberal Democrat Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, said: “I'm delighted that North Somerset Libraries have secured a significant pot of funding so we can upgrade our mobile library - well done to our officers for all their hard work in making this happen. 

“This outreach service is a vital asset for our rural residents who don’t have local libraries. We’ve also used the current vehicle for council consultations outside of the larger towns, helping us speak to as many residents as possible. 

“By upgrading our vehicle, we’re hoping to reach more groups and communities who do not currently use libraries, and help connect as many people to this fantastic service as possible. 

“And by switching to an electric vehicle, we’ll also be reducing the mobile library’s emissions and fuel costs. This will help us in our mission to protect the environment and build a green North Somerset.”