NINE libraries in Warrington will see a cut in opening hours following a one-month trial.

Over the last six weeks a new timetable has been in force across libraries in the town.

The biggest cut has taken place at Birchwood Library after the opening times were reduced by 11 and a half hours. 

But the decision has been made to make this a permanent fixture while LiveWire will continue to monitor the changes and customer feedback over the next six months.

While the changes will not result in any redundancies, LiveWire is using a banking system to ensure contracted staff that have had their opening hours reduced have the option to work at other libraries across the town.

Emma Hutchinson, managing director of LiveWire, said: “Nationally, fewer people are physically visiting libraries, and Warrington is not unique in experiencing a continuing decrease of library visits and reduced opening have had no further impact in decreasing the number of visits in line with other periods.

"We have ensured that the new timetable gives good coverage across the town by providing alternative sites for users to access within the same neighbourhood on days when certain libraries are closed."

Westbrook, Penketh, Culcheth, Padgate, Birchwood, Stockton Heath, Lymm, Orford and Warrington Central libraries will see a cut in opening hours.

Woolston Neighbourhood Hub Library and Burtonwood Library will still be unaffected by the changes.

The trial revealed that at some libraries just two visitors are using the facilities during their first half an hour of opening, with the hours of 6pm to 7pm among the quietest periods.

It also found that some libraries that close for one day a week have the same or greater number of visitors than those that only close for half a day a week.

The revised timetables are being introduced following a consultation with more than 4,000 users and non-users of libraries.

A total of 46 per cent of people surveyed who have stopped using the library or have never used the library said they now download or buy their books via the internet.

The savings that LiveWire makes from the new opening hours will be reinvested into new technology.