Corporate, Finance, HP, Libraries

Surrey and East Sussex join forces to slash cost of revamping libraries

Surrey and East Sussex have joined forces to boost their buying power and slash the cost of revamping libraries by almost a third.

Firms have agreed to discount the price of the likes of carpets, lighting and furniture by up to 27% after the two county councils teamed up to harness their collective clout.

It comes as readers prepare to mark National Libraries Day on Saturday (8 February).

In the last two years, Surrey has invested around £2m in refurbishing libraries such as Woking and Dorking and plans to replace existing branches in Cobham and Merstham.

East Sussex has recently invested in major refurbishment work in libraries at Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hailsham with new branches in Rye and Wadhurst.

The councils have also launched a joint roadworks permit scheme to crack down on congestion, created a website together to make it easier for firms to win deals and merged administrative services to cut costs.

Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Business Services Denise Le Gal said: “We’re determined to get the best possible deal for taxpayers and this is just another example of how we’re using our collective purchasing power to provide better, more efficient services in our libraries.”

The refurbishment contracts last for four years. The five firms involved have confirmed discounts of up to 27% in the first year and similar savings are expected in the other years.

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