Independent bookshops in Newcastle, London, Edinburgh and Bedford are among 15 named in the first tranche of shops set to receive funding to help them engage with under-represented communities, thanks to diversity grants from the Booksellers Association [see full listing below].
The bookshops were chosen after submitting their plans to the BA, which included hosting events with BAME youth writing groups, building wheelchair ramps and installing hearing induction loops.
Nic Bottomley, BA President and owner of Mr B’s Emporium, said: “This first tranche of grant recipients shows the creativity of Britain’s bookshops and their clear desire to be as inclusive as they possibly can. The projects rewarded help ensure that everyone is able to access those shops and will be inspired by the books they find there. It will allow the bookshops to pursue collaborations and inventive schemes within their communities, and to encourage children from every background to embrace the world of books.
“Together they represent an exciting first burst of inclusivity schemes which we are sure will encourage many more applications and innovative ideas, when the second tranche of grant funds are made available next year.”
The total funding of £50,000 was provided by the BA board and will be split between the shops in 2018 and 2019, with shops receiving between £250 and £1,500.
Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher at Dialogue Books and one of the grant judges, said: “Bookshops should always be at the heart of a community, and I was overjoyed and proud by the evident commitment and fresh ideas from bookshops across the country for this grant. It’s inspiring the myriad of ways a bookshop can reach out to a community which is often missing from storytelling, and to engage readers to ensure their bookshops are inclusive and accessible."
The full list of bookshops:
The Lighthouse, Edinburgh
Burley Fisher, London
Little Ripon Bookshop, Ripon
Burway Books, Church Stretton
Seven Stories, Newcastle
Book Nook, Hove
Tales on Moon Lane, London
Orb’s Community Bookshop, Huntly
Carmina Gadelica, Isle of Skye
Vibes & Scribes, Cork
Rabbit Hole, Brigg
Sevenoaks Bookshop, Sevenoaks
Pages of Hackney, London
Rogan’s Books, Bedford