BA launches final round of £50k diversity fund grants for booksellers

BA launches final round of £50k diversity fund grants for booksellers

The Booksellers Association (BA) has launched the last of three rounds of Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants for its members, as part of its Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants (DIG) Project.

Following the first round of grants in October 2018, the BA received twice as many applications for the second round in May this year as for the first round, and are expecting a good response to the final round of funding, offering the last chance to access the BA’s grant.

Projects awarded a grant in the second round include: funding for a festival in a marginalised community, wheelchair ramps, writing projects for minority writers, the provision of sensory story time materials for autistic children, the provision of books and conversation for older people in care homes, and several projects to reach young LGBTQ and BAME audiences.

BA m.d. Meryl Halls said: “The Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants Project has been a real game changer for the BA and for bookselling.  For the first time, booksellers have been able to create diversity and inclusion-specific projects and receive funding to implement them.  It’s helped the conversation around diversity in bookselling to move on, and has created some really practical outcomes and wonderfully creative projects.  We are sad that we have reached the final phase of the project but delighted that we will be able to launch more projects that have a positive impact in bookshops across the UK & Ireland.”
The DIG Project was launched in 2018, with an unprecedented £50,000 being dedicated over two years to help bookshops deliver practical initiatives to increase inclusivity in their shop or in their community. The goal of the project is ultimately to enable real tangible change in diversity and inclusiveness in bookselling across the UK and Ireland.

The grants are awarded by a panel, featuring BA president Nic Bottomley, Cathy Rentzenbrink, author, former bookseller and former head of Quick Reads, li Lennart, manager of Gay’s the Word Bookshop in London and Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher of Hachette’s new inclusive imprint Dialogue Books, invited by the BA to oversee the grant selections,

Bookshops can apply for a Diversity & Inclusiveness Grant via the BA's website.