Subject to Government approval our strategy is to store all hard-copy newspaper material at our Boston Spa site, provide access to microfilm and digital surrogates at St Pancras, close the Colindale site and house non-newspaper materials at Boston Spa or St Pancras, according to use. Following comments from DCMS, the full business case was re-submitted for approval in April 2008. Implementation planning is nearly complete and work has started on implementation projects within the Newspaper Programme.
We secured London Development Agency (LDA) funding of £2.4m to cover the period 2007/08 – 2010/11. Footfall was ahead of target at nearly 32,000, and some 4,200 new Reader Passes were issued to business users. We held a highly successful Enterprise Week, Inspiring Entrepreneurs events and a wide range of workshops and seminars. The Centre’s in-kind revenue contribution – including time and expertise donated by role model entrepreneurs, and press and publicity – totalled £2.1m, while our Facebook group reached over 1,300 members.
Sacred: Discover what we share provided our best ever visitor numbers – more than 200,000 for the main St Pancras exhibition and 6,600 for the regional touring exhibition. It also generated revenues of £240,000 – our best ever from an exhibition. Our winter exhibition, Breaking the Rules received over 123,000 visitors – 50% above target – and attracted a younger audience to the Library with 53% aged 16–44.
We continue to hold programmes of events and activities in public libraries across the UK. Sacred on Location, launched in Glasgow in April 2007, featured family, school and community activities based around the theme of faith. DCMS and the Department for Communities and Local Government are to fund Sacred on Location 2 next year. A report to DCMS detailing how we have engaged with faith communities led to the announcement in November of £50,000 funding to extend the programme to ten further venues during 2008/09.
We staged two more Champions events at St Pancras. These give colleagues working in public libraries a tour of the building and a briefing about British Library services available to their users. In return, Champions offer feedback to help the Library tailor its services accordingly. The events proved so popular that we have a waiting list for the first Champions event of 2008/09.
We provided workshops to over 17,500 learners, exceeding our Funding Agreement target of 7,500 for the full year. Visitors to our Learning website are also exceeding our forecast, thanks to the popularity and widespread media coverage of the Sounds Familiar, Food Stories and Sacred Texts resources. We raised £200,000 towards the £500,000 target for re-developing the on-site Learning Space and secured £160,000 from DCMS and the Department for Children, Schools and Families for strategic commissioning. We also secured funds to support the Taking Liberties learning programme from the Ministry of Justice.