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PFI cash granted to library and sport schemes

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The government has rolled out a £130 million package of PFI funding to support library and sport development projects across the country.

Six local authorities will receive a slice of the new government money, according to an announcement made on Wednesday.

The schemes which will benefit include plans to redevelop Liverpool City Council's central library (pictured), which will land almost £14 million in cash. The council will now launch a search for an architect to work on the proposals to provide a new 18,000m 2library, archive centre, entrance and space for 250 public computers.

The other successful authorities are:

Bristol City Council, which will receive £29.7 million for a multi-sport centre linked to a community hospital and a park, designed by S&P Architects;

Worcestershire County Council, which will receive £33.4 million for an integrated public and university library facility;

Newcastle City Council, which will receive £13.2 million for a new city centre library;

Leeds City Council, which will receive £30 million for its plans for three multi-sport community hubs; and

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, which will receive £6.8 million as part of a wider package of £64.6 million towards the development of a multi-service centre providing a range of services including a library and sports facilities.

Culture secretary Tessa Jowell said: 'Our aim this year is to support the modernisation of public library services and the creation of multi-sport facilities. I am particularly impressed by the vision of the chosen projects, which have been rigorously assessed by experts.

'Public-private partnerships are a good way of getting high-quality projects off the ground in a cost-effective way. I am sure that the six new projects will go forward and deliver results and become an essential part of the communities they serve,' she added.

by Rob Sharp

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