Sunderland library spending had fallen by £2.5million even before closure plans announced

Libraries at Fence Houses and, below, Easington Lane are earmarked for closure.
Libraries at Fence Houses and, below, Easington Lane are earmarked for closure.
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CASH spent on libraries in Wearside fell by almost £2.5million during the last three years, the Echo can reveal today.

In 2009/10, £7,178,031 was allocated to Wearside’s 20 libraries and related services.

However, this fell to £4,682,932 by 2011/12.

According to figures gathered under a Freedom of Information request, funding to the city’s main library, in Fawcett Street, suffered the biggest drop, falling by £225,926 from £1,007,895 in 2010/11 to £781,969 in 2011/2012.

Hetton Library, which has 1,241 members accessing services, suffered the biggest loss among the other libraries, falling from £234,381 to £127,721.

East Herrington Library’s cash allocation fell by £14,280 from £106,007 to £91,727 over the same period.

The library currently has 599 members and is one of the nine earmarked for closure.

The new proposals see library hubs in each of the five areas of the city, supported by community libraries.

The 11 libraries which will be kept open received 87.5 per cent of all library visits in 2012/13.