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Manchester Central Library
Photograph: Aleksandr Vrublevskiy /

Libraries are being turned into ‘warm refuges’ to help people who can’t pay for heating

One London library has already spent £28,000 on making the place more comfortable for those in need

Written by
Faima Bakar

Where do you go when the soaring energy prices mean you have to choose between eating and heating? For those left in an impossible choice, public spaces such as libraries and museums seem like a good option. Many are heading into these institutions for some respite – to the extent that some have even been dubbed ‘warm refuges’.

But with increased footfall, libraries and museums are having to adapt. In Greenwich, south-east London, libraries have forked out £28,000 to add in comfortable seating so people have somewhere to sit and get warm.

At the same time, however, public places are also having to higher energy bills. With Ofgem set to announce a new price cap at the end of the week, potentially hiking past £6,000, many libraries and museums are concerned about how they can afford their energy prices (and act as warm refuges). Local are now calling on the government for more public funding so they can carry out their services for those in need. 

Isobel Hunter, chief executive of Libraries Connected, said: ‘Central government should provide councils with additional funding this winter to meet rising energy costs, which would help ensure libraries stay open as vital warm refuges for their communities.’

ICYMI: these British regions are set to be hit hardest by soaring energy prices.

Plus: one of the UK’s best pubs could be forced to shut – and Twitter is angry about it.

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