Annual Review 2022-23

Inspiring EVERYONE to read, learn and enjoy culture

Our vision is to inspire people across Nottinghamshire to read, learn and enjoy culture. 

This review gives you an insight into our work, and highlights some of our achievements, innovative projects and services during 2022-23. 

  1. Inspire Annual Review Video
  2. Chief Executive review
  3. Inspire's Forward Plan
  4. Finances
  5. Governance
  6. Accreditation
  7. Awards

Watch our Annual Review 2022-23 Video

Chief Executive Review

Peter Gaw, Inspire Chief Executive

Peter Gaw, Inspire Chief Executive

2022/2023 has been our seventh year as Inspire, delivering a range of arts, community, cultural, heritage, learning, library and music services as one of the UKs largest library based public sector charitable mutual organisations. We have seen a positive recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and by focusing on increasing community activity and volunteering the level of regular opportunities to be inspired by are now greater than before the start of the pandemic.

Inspire staff and volunteers have again been at the heart of the organisation, with several fantastic partners working with us to deliver great services, cultural and learning outcomes.

We are working to meet our organisational priorities of – Quality, Dynamism, Inclusivity and Sustainability, and you will see in the Annual Review Video 2022-23 a reflection of these priorities in action is what we have been doing over the last year.

With so much to choose from it is always hard to highlight areas of success in an annual review. The review video gives an insight of the impact Inspire has from our customers and learners from across all our communities and services.

There are, however, this year a couple of ground-breaking and impactful pieces of work that deserve a special mention.

Mother of Tension

Nottinghamshire Archives and Inspire Youth Arts, in collaboration with the Imperial War Museum, created a unique hip hop dance performance called ‘Mother of Tension’, which was performed at Lakeside Arts to a sold-out audience

Green Libraries Partnership and Village Hubs Project

These projects focused on 5 smaller libraries and the communities they are situated. Alongside the refurbishment and reordering of 5 libraries a programme of community consultation ensured changes to the library and the service offer was focused on local needs. 2 new library green gardens were also developed and used as a national example of best practice.

I was also thrilled that Inspire was successful in retaining its status as an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and was able to increase the level of funding to deliver a range of creative and cultural activity across Nottinghamshire. Opening the new Buttermarket Inspire Centre in Newark, Community Makers reaching over 700 registered volunteers, the establishment of the adult literacy scheme, delivery of the adult numeracy ‘Multiply’ programme and the expanding ‘Places of Welcome’ groups also deserve to be highlighted. 

Keep visiting our website to keep up to date and sign up for email to stay connected and be inspired.  

We are always pleased to hear from you, so please also feel free to get in touch via our friendly Ask Inspire team

Peter Gaw, BEM 

Chief Executive Officer  

2022 - 23 Highlights

Our Forward Plan

Inspire's forward plan showing an illustrated landscape scene with people. Text describes Inspire's values, aims and outcomes.


The majority of funding for Inspire services comes from public funding. Nottinghamshire County Council is the main funder for Libraries, Archives and Cultural Services. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Arts Council England (ACE) also fund specific areas of delivery.

Expenditure and Funding

During 2022/2023 Inspire saw income of £21,262,359 and expenditure of £23,114,935 giving a deficit on the year of £1,852,576. This expenditure figure includes accounting adjustments of £1,993,000, reported under the Financial Reporting Standard 102 (FRS 102) relating to the Local Government Defined Pension Scheme. As long as Inspire continues to operate and has contributing members to the LGPS, this liability cannot be called in, and therefore excluding these adjustments from total expenditure for the year gives a clearer indication of Inspire’s financial performance. This results in a surplus in the year of £140,422. This is made up of £56,128 of restricted funds and £84,294 of unrestricted funds.

Funding and Income Sources

Pie chart showing Inspire's funding sources


Inspire – Culture, Learning and Libraries (Midlands) is a community benefit society with charitable status. Inspire is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (registered number 7139). 

The main board is made up of 12 Directors; four Community Directors (elected by our members), two County Council nominated, four co-opted, one Staff Director (elected by staff members) and the Chief Executive Officer. There are sub-committees in the following areas: 

  • Audit and Finance 
  • Learning and Skills 
  • Music, Heritage and Culture 
  • Staffing and Standards. 


Inspire continues to achieve recognition and accreditation from a number of external bodies covering many of our services: 

Logos showing our accreditations - Ofsted, Accredited Archive Service, Customer Service Excellence, Family Arts Standard, Carer Friendly Organisation, Matrix, Hidden Disabilities, Disability Aware


Inspire Libraries won the Community, Participatory and Libraries Award at the Big Draw Festival Awards for both 2020 and 2021. These awards were awarded in 2023 following pandemic delays. 

Michelle Dunstan & Ellie Booth were Libraries Connected Awards 2023 nominees. Michelle was nominated for her work on I am a Reader, and Ellie for her work on the Library Improvement Fund Villages Hub project.

Our Education Library Service was on the Honor List of the School Library Association Community Award for InspiRead - a primary book award that runs annually in the summer term. 

Image showing our Awards Logos for the School Library Association, Libraries Connected and The Big Draw