Case study

Manchester Central Library Development Trust

Trust established to oversee continued development of Manchester central library

Manchester Central Library Development Trust logo
Manchester Central Library Development Trust logo

Contribution to corporate priorities

Manchester Central Library Development Trust (registered charity no. 1150161) was established in 2012. Its initial priority was to enhance aspects of the venue’s major transformation.

The support the Development Trust secures in the future will help the venue to stay dynamic and fresh for years to come by funding:

  • new acquisitions
  • conservation work
  • educational and cultural programmes
  • key aspects of the library service, like Archives+

Description of the work and the relationship

The Development Trust is an independent charity which supports activities in central library beyond the core library service. It does this by making grants to Manchester City Council, specifically for central library use. The trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee, is currently governed by 7 directors, who meet regularly to discuss fundraising plans and to make grants for central library events and activities. The directors represent the trust at various events throughout the year. All new directors are carefully selected for recruitment. They bring a range of skills and a wealth of experience to the board. The directors undertake skills audits to inform board membership.

Accomplishments / lessons learnt

Between 2012-14, the trust raised almost £1 million, mainly from grants, to fund additional capital items for the venue’s major transformation. The range of capital items included: new furniture and fittings for the children’s library, the media lounge and the reading room, plus equipment for the performance space. It also raised funds to support new educational and cultural activities and will continue to help develop innovative ways of making library services and resources accessible to all and sustainable in the years ahead. In addition the trust:

  • launched a website which highlights their objectives and promotes further fundraising
  • received a legacy of approximately £40,000 which funded an events co-ordinator post for 12 months
  • provided match funding for a successful Arts Council funded year long music programme featuring the band Everything Everything, curating a week of high profile, national media publicised events with acclaimed authors, artists, musicians and comedians
  • made further use of that funding to enable the development of a new website, which promotes the venue’s cultural programme
  • funded a series of Sunday Fundays and welcomed thousands of children and parents into the venue for special days of family activities
  • launched ‘Library Lovers’, a new committed giving scheme for individuals that helps people support the good work of the trust in return for benefits such as discounts in the shop and café and invitations to events (behind the scenes tours and special previews)

Future plans

The trust will continue to:

  • raise awareness of Manchester central library and its facilities
  • focus on securing revenue support for cultural and educational activities and programming

This will ensure that the public benefit of the central library is maximised.

The fundraising strategy will also focus on cultivating and securing support for activities and events, which could be hosted by the trust outside the normal open hours of the library.

It will continue to develop and use the trust’s website. This will be an important way of continuing to raise awareness of the trust’s activities to both the general public and the corporate sector. The website, will also promote ways for grant giving for grant making trusts, individuals and companies to engage with the venue’s ongoing programme requirements.

Manchester Central Library Development Trust website and for further information contact: libraries@manchester.gov.uk

Published 31 March 2016