National Portfolio Organisation status for 2023 to 2026

Our libraries are welcoming hubs in the heart of our communities. They're places where you can learn, get creative and connect with our borough’s rich culture.

We’re delighted to have been chosen as a National Portfolio Organisation for 2023-2026. This will allow us to support cultural activities across our libraries for years to come.

This funding from Arts Council England recognises all our hard work. We've developed high-quality and accessible cultural programmes everyone can enjoy.

It will help us to deliver more exciting and inclusive activities, inspiring people of all ages to engage with culture. It will also help us to work more closely with our communities and support local groups.


Our ‘All In’ programme and it's ambitions

Over the next three years, we'll deliver ‘All In’, our programme of creative events and activities.

We believe libraries and culture should be for everyone. For our first year as a National Portfolio Organisation, there'll be a range of activities. These will connect our communities with culture through our libraries.

They'll also help us deliver on our libraries strategy ambitions and Arts Council England’s ‘Let’s Create’ vision for the future.

Activities will include:

  • a new Barnsley Book Festival
  • library lates
  • creative and artistic residencies
  • micro-commissions
  • a new pop-up space to reach out into our communities
  • wellbeing interventions for our home library service

We've lots more planned as part of our ‘All In’ programme and National Portfolio Organisation status. Keep an eye out on Barnsley Libraries’ social media channels for more details.


Join our ‘All In’ steering group and help shape our plans

About the steering group

As part of our creative and inspiring ‘All In’ programme, we need your help.

We’re looking to create a steering group to work with us over the next three years. This is to guide, support and monitor our activities to make sure they achieve our aims.

We want to hear from a wide range of people from across our borough.

All you need is a passion for libraries, arts, culture and our communities.

We want you to be honest, supportive and constructive to help guide our programme. Think of it like being our critical friend. You'll champion our libraries and help us make connections.

Being on our steering group is a voluntary role. You'll be expected to:

  • Meet four times a year with Barnsley Libraries officers to review the progress of the programme.
  • Elect a chair, who'll work with our National Portfolio Organisation business support officer to organise meetings, agendas and minutes.
  • Review regular reports on our progress against the funding agreement.
  • Advise on our future direction and plans. This will be in line with the Art Council’s priorities.
  • Take part in training where relevant.
  • Meet and speak directly with Arts Council England, away from our Libraries team if needed.

The group won't be part of Barnsley Council but will work closely with Barnsley Libraries management team. It will oversee the Arts Council England’s funding agreement.

The group will have no legal status or financial responsibilities. Its role will be to monitor progress and spending, challenge our plans and give advice.

Once the group is in place, they'll adopt a Terms of Reference and setting out the roles and responsibilities.

We’d also expect members to complete a Declaration of Interest form.

How to apply

We’re currently looking to recruit four people to our steering group.

You can apply by emailing This must be received by 5pm on Friday 28 April 2023.

Please send no more than one side of A4. You should explain why you'd like to be part of this project and what experience you have.

Accessibility is important to us. If we can support you to apply please get in touch. We can accept applications in a different format, such as a short video.

If you would like an informal chat to learn more about the role of the steering group, please email

We look forward to hearing from you!

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