2 What we spend and how we spend it

Funding agreement and other income

Our current management funding agreement with DCMS.

In addition to Grant in Aid, the Library also generates income from individual and corporate donations, charitable activities, and investment. Further details can be found in our Annual Reports.

Financial statements, budgets and variance reports

Information on contracts and expenditure

Full details of all contracts of a value over £10,000 (£12,000 after January 2022) entered into by the British Library from January 2011 (or July 2010 for IT contracts).

All supplier payments for individual invoices exceeding £25,000 and paid after 1 April 2010. This information will be updated monthly on or before the 15th working day of the following month.

All Government Procurement Card expenditure over £500 for calendar years 2022 (Excel format), 2021 (Excel format), and 2020 (Excel format). This information will be published annually during the month of January.

Percentage of invoices paid (Excel format) within 5 days / 30 days as required by the Public Contract Regulations 2015. This information will be published quarterly.

Forward plans for purchasing exhibits and the forward exhibitions programme


Full details of the Library's upcoming Exhibitions programme (Word format) can be found on our website.

Forward plans for acquiring physical and digital content for the British Library

Unlike many museums, the British Library does not normally acquire items specifically for display purposes. In order to support and stimulate research of all kinds we continue to build the UK’s national collection of published and unpublished written content in physical and digital form.

During this period we will continue to develop and maintain our collections of unique Heritage material through a mix of Grant-In-Aid, donations and grants.  We will continue making changes to how we spend our acquisitions budgets for contemporary content, ensuring that our contemporary collections are developed in ways that reflect user needs, changes in publishing and technology, while optimising value for money within a finite budget.  We are improving the services that we offer to researchers by working with publishers to develop more flexible and cost effective access routes to content, by making it easier for people to find and access content, including Open Access material, online.

  • In 2023/24 the library budgeted £9.0m for acquisitions
  • In 2022/23 the library budgeted £10.1m for acquisitions
  • In 2021/22 the library budgeted £10m for acquisitions
  • In 2020/21 the library budgeted £10.7m for acquisitions
  • In 2019/20 the library budgeted £11.3m for acquisitions.

Intellectual Heritage for everyone: The Library's major acquisitions in 2015-2019 (PDF Format)

The Library’s content strategy 2020-2023 ‘Enabling access for everyone’ (PDF Format)

Capital programme

Details of our capital spending is included in the financial summaries found under the Financial Statements, Budgets and Variance reports section above.

Spending reviews

Our Spending Review letters from DCMS covering the period 2015-2021:

Grants and donations

Details of grants and donations over £100,000 (Excel format) received by the Library since 2012. 

If you'd like to make a donation to The Library, there are several ways you can do this:

Financial audit reports

The Certificate of the Comptroller and Auditor General to the Houses of Parliament and the Scottish Parliament can be found on page 71 of our Annual Report (PDF format).

Staff and Board Members' allowances and expenses

Expenses that can be claimed by staff are detailed in the Library's Travel & Subsistence Policy (PDF format).

Board members are reimbursed for reasonable travelling expenses and accommodation only, on the following basis:

  • Travel Expenses - Travel expenses may not exceed the cost of a standard rail fare or bus fare from your normal place of residence (or from the place of landing in the United Kingdom if you are coming from abroad) to the British Library site visited.  Special priced tickets should be used where possible in preference to the standard return fare.  Expenses incurred in travel to this country from abroad are recoverable from the British Library for standard fares. 
  • Accommodation Allowance - If you live within reasonable distance of the Library site visited you will be expected to travel there and back on the same day.  If you do not live within reasonable travelling distance, an overnight allowance will be paid.  Receipts must be provided.  If you stay overnight with a relative or friend you will only be entitled to half of the overnight allowance.
Details of actual expenses claimed (Excel format) by board members and senior staff during the past three financial years.

Pay and grading structures

The Library's current pay scales (PDF format). Also available are the old pay scales from 2021 (PDF Format) , 2020 (PDF format), and 2019 (PDF Format).

Datasets relating to our organisation structure for senior staff (Excel format) and junior staff (Excel format) salaries.

The Library's Gender Pay Gap Statements under the Gender Pay Gap Information Regulations 2017:

The Trade Union (Facility Time Publication Requirements) Regulations 2017 require the following information to be published:

The Library's Apprenticeship Target Statements under the Public Sector Apprenticeships Targets Regulations 2017:

Procurement and tendering procedures

Information about our procurement and tendering process can be found on our dedicated e-tendering website.

Past tender documents (as opposed to live opportunities), as well as documents relating to other types of tender (e.g. single tender, framework agreements), can be found on the Contracts Finder website.

Financial statements for projects and events

Financial details of our major projects during the last financial year (Excel format).

At this time the Library does not track detailed budget and expenditure for individual events. 

Internal financial regulations

The Library's internal Financial Code (PDF format).