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Surrey Performing Arts Library review

September 2018

As of 11 September the performing arts material has been successfully relocated from Surrey Performing Arts Library to its new home in Ewell Library, and Ewell Library is open once again. Library users are now able to browse and borrow the material from its new location.

This web site has been updated to reflect the move of the material and services to Ewell Library.

August 2018

Surrey Performing Arts Library has now closed its doors while the material is being relocated to its new home in Ewell Library.

Both Surrey Performing Arts and Ewell Libraries closed on 11 August to begin this project.

The planned relocation of the dance, drama, film and music collections to Ewell Library is now in progress and service will resume there at 9.30am on Tuesday 11 September 2018.

Please see below for the what this might mean for library users.

This web site is being updated to reflect the move of the material and services to Ewell Library.

July 2018

Since mid-2017, the Library service has been looking at how we can protect provision of material to support the performing arts throughout Surrey.

Surrey Performing Arts Library (SPAL) has been based in Denbies wine estate for many years. The more stringent financial situation that Surrey County Council faces means we have been working with several organisations to look at the future of SPAL. In March 2018 a charity, NewSPAL, was formed to investigate the possibility of taking on the operational responsibility for SPAL. After discussions at Surrey County Council meetings in November 2017 and February 2018, on 26 June 2018 the Cabinet approved the following recommendations.

  1. NewSPAL, a new charitable body, is invited and supported to prepare a comprehensive business plan to take on operational responsibility for SPAL
  2. That a report on the NewSPAL business plan be brought to Cabinet for decision in the Autumn 2018.

While the NewSPAL proposal is worked up in greater detail, to ensure the effectiveness, coherence and continuity of the service the collection will be relocated to Ewell Library. It is estimated that the relocation could be actioned by August 2018.

We will be keeping group and individual customers registered with Surrey Performing Arts Library informed of progress.

What happens now?

We are now planning the relocation of the dance, drama, film and music collections to Ewell Library and working hard to minimise disruption to users both of Surrey Performing Arts and Ewell Libraries.

At the same time we will be supporting NewSPAL by providing its trustees with technical advice and guidance where necessary to assist their development of a sustainable business plan. That plan will be submitted circa September 2018 for review and decision by Cabinet. The county council will not be making a financial contribution to the charity for set up or transitional costs.

In the event that the NewSPAL business plan is approved, after a transition period, Surrey County Council would have no financial responsibility for SPAL.

What does this mean for Ewell Library users?

You will find a new look library as the new stock is put in place. The layout is currently being finalised and you may see a change in the location of the self-service machines and a slight change of place for your favourite books. Pebble Rhymetime and other regular events will continue in the new layout.

Your choice of books in dance, drama, film and music will be hugely increased. If you are an amateur dramatic or play reading group, orchestra or choir you will be able to browse through hundreds of titles.

To fit in this remarkable material we will, however, have to close Ewell Library from 5pm, 11 August to 9:30am, 11 September.

What does this mean for Surrey Performing Arts Library users?

If you collect/return at a Surrey or West Sussex Library then your service will remain the same. If you usually collect/return at Denbies, then you may wish to do that at Ewell Library or choose another Surrey or West Sussex library as your new collection/return point.

We are asking groups to reserve their material now and collect before 1 August to make sure they have everything they need for their rehearsals in August and September. Performing Arts Library will be closed from 1pm, 11 August.

The way you contact the library may change. Some online systems will remain, so you can join and tell us about any change in group representatives. Unfortunately we will not be taking requests for music or play sets until 18 September, whilst the material and service is moved to Ewell Library. You can browse the stock at Ewell Library. To speak with us by telephone, you will need to go through our Contact Centre. If you have questions about this please email