LOCALS remain concerned about the future of Glasgow's historic venues despite a recent cash injection of almost £450,000. 

In their calls for long-term funding, campaigners will continue to hold read-in protests outside libraries in Maryhill and in Whiteinch.

It was announced earlier this week that a handful of city venues that have been closed throughout Covid-19 would benefit from the cash to help them re-open. 

Glasgow Times:

But the grants - that come from a Scottish Government Public Libary Covid Relief Fund - will only cover opening the buildings until the end of the financial year.

Colin Mcgeoch, from the Save Glasgow Libraries campaign, said: "Communities are still concerned that although libraries are reopening, the grant funding that has been made available has to be spent by March 31, 2022.  

“We’re still worried that there’s no commitment for long-term funding to secure the future of the venues. While we welcome support for one year, it needs to go beyond that. 

“We’re concerned that the council will say it needs further capital investment for Maryhill and Whiteinch libraries to cover refurbishment costs."

As well as Maryhill and Whiteinch libraries, the cash is expected to help reopen the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), the Couper Institute and Barmulloch Library by January. 

Glasgow Times:

Colin said: "We have been told that the venues should reopen by the end of January but we have put a note of caution that it’ll be unlikely that they open to pre-pandemic hours. 

“Although one-year funding has been made available, we don’t know if the libraries will reopen and there will be a cut to the services or not due to a lack of staff. 

"We want to see a full library service restored to pre-pandemic levels in the original buildings that they have always been in and we want the council to commit to the future of these venues."

Campaigners have been holding weekly read-in demonstrations since May. 
They warn that unless long-term funding is provided by the authorities, the protests won't be halted any time soon.

Colin added: "We’ll continue to hold read-ins to highlight that libraries remain closed and to show that the trust has been broken between the council and the public. 

“We want the council to provide meaningful engagement over the future of these buildings. The communities have no trust with Glasgow City Council on what they say – it is a matter of actions over words now."

Demonstrators have invited locals to join the read-ins today at midday outside Whiteinch and Maryhill libraries. 

A statement from Save Maryhill Library reads: "Maryhill is one of the most deprived neighbourhoods in Glasgow. There are more than books inside our library.

"Many households do not have access to the internet and rely on the free computers there to apply for benefits and jobs.

"Opening for just a few months is not good enough. It must be permanent and its hours must be no worse than before the pandemic."