Inspire reports progress and achievements in its fourth year

Published 5th October 2020

External accreditation and awards, additional funding, customer/learner satisfaction and achievements across all service areas are just some of the highlights reported to the Place and Communities Committee by Inspire.

In Nottinghamshire we know that people love our libraries and all the services they offer to a huge range of people at every stage of life.

Four-years-on we’re just as committed, and I’m thrilled to be involved in an organisation that has now achieved so many accreditations and accolades but most importantly, I’m proud because I know how these services can help support people at the time its needed most.

Inspire work with a number of partners across Nottinghamshire and beyond and this collaborative working is key to being able to bid for national money to help keep our services thriving.

Councillor John Cottee, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Communities and Place Committee.

Inspire have delivered culture, learning and libraries for Nottinghamshire County Council since 2016 as an independent charitable community benefit society reported a high level of service delivery and developments against the contractual agreement with the Council.

These include:

  • Inspire wide accreditation by Customer Service Excellence
  •  Awards from the Business, Design Association (Beeston Library) and Family Arts Campaign
  • Additional funding including Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation status with an additional £1m funding to deliver cultural programmes through the library network 2018-22
  • Customer and Learner satisfaction levels are good or very good
  • Inspire Membership – over 67,000 people are members of the Society

In the review year 2019-20 Inspire reported the following selected achievements and highlights;

Reading and Libraries

  • Annual readers day 2019 held at County Hall – sold out
  • Fun Palace at Worksop Library receiving over 2,500 visitors
  • Inspire Poetry Festival – 1,000 attendances
  • Library opening hours reviewed and increased by 93.5 hours a week
  • Summer Reading Challenge – 9,075 children took part


  • Adult education (accredited) – 632 leaners – 632 achieved a qualification
  • Adult education (non accredited) – 5,610 enrolments (510 online) – 1,134 courses
  • Study programme of 260 young people – 89% achievement
  • 60 young people sitting GCSEs achieve Inspire Learning’s best results ever – 64% achieved Grade 4 or above in English (national pass rate was 33%), 49% achieved Grade 4 or above in Maths (national pass rate was 41%)

Arts, culture and music

  • Able Orchestra performed with BBC Philharmonic and Halle Orchestras at UK Media City Manchester
  • Christmas concert at Royal Concert Hall, 330 Nottinghamshire young singers performed to an audience of over 850
  • Commissioned rural touring ‘Live and Local’ and ‘Earth and Fire’ ceramics fair
  • Little creatives in libraries and early years settings - 1633 participants

The report also updates the committee on how Inspire is supporting communities, the economy and schools during the Covid emergency.

Looking back on four years of successful delivery as Inspire, we are very proud of the services we have delivered to the people of Nottinghamshire against a backdrop of financial pressures and more recently a global pandemic. Much of this down to the dedication of our staff and volunteers, and the excellent relationships with the Council, funders, stakeholders and delivery partners.

Peter Gaw, Chief Executive Inspire

< Back to all news

In other news