A NEW chapter for Dudley borough libraries and archives begins today (Friday) as a charitable social enterprise takes control of the venues.

The day-to-day management of all of the borough’s 13 libraries, four library links and Dudley Archives and Local History Service will transfer to GLL (Greenwich Leisure Limited), an employee-led mutual.

GLL is now tasked with introducing innovative ways of working to generate income to reinvest into the Dudley Council-owned service, update facilities and expand the range of services on offer.

At the Archives, in Tipton Road, Dudley, the mutual has been tasked in maximising the exhibition space and create more events for the public to enjoy.

The new library provider is expected to make financial savings for the council without impacting on day-to-day services.

Councillor Peter Miller, cabinet member responsible for libraries and archives, said: “Libraries and archives are a fantastic community resource, ranked within the top six nationally last year, and our new partnership with GLL is about making sure they stay that way.

“With the expertise of our own staff combined with GLL’s experience of running services up and down the country, we are confident we can future-proof our libraries, ensuring they provide the latest up-to-date services for families to enjoy whilst offering value for money for council tax payers.

“We look forward to working with GLL as our libraries and archives enter a new chapter.”

GLL, a not-for-profit group which involves staff in decisions about its services, was chosen as the preferred partner to run the mutual over the next seven years.

The enterprise has been running leisure and library services since 1993, currently managing libraries in Wandsworth, Lincolnshire and Bromley as well as Greenwich Council’s library services.

Chris Symons, director of development at GLL, said: “We are looking forward to bringing our wealth of experience in libraries management to Dudley to improve the service for local residents and increase footfall.”