Bookshops from across Britain have been awarded the final grants from the Booksellers Association £50,000 diversity fund for projects to improve accessibility, representation and inclusion.
The 10 bookshop projects selected will each be awarded funding for their proposed project to improve diversity and inclusion. The bookshop projects to receive funding are: Round Table Books, Brixton, which will use the grant to bring more inclusive children’s pop-up bookshops across the UK, following the success of its 2018 project which led to its permanent store while The Book Nook in Ware, Hertfordshire, will run monthly social activities, book groups, and work placements for adults with Asperger’s in partnership with Always Be You.
In Birimingham, The Bookshop on the Green, will celebrate the city's racial and cultural diversity with story sharing events that bring people together and break down barriers that exist between different groups.
Owl and Pyramid Bookshop in Seaton, Devon, will take authors into small schools and home education groups that do not usually have the opportunity to receive author visits and Category is Books, Glasgow, will continue to support reading groups and queer writer meet-ups, as well as providing more materials in translation to suit the 32 languages spoken in Glasgow.
Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, north London, will provide fully funded school trips for 300 nursery and Key Stage 1 children to meet authors and receive copies of their books in the shop.
Simply Books in Cheshire will enhance its Simply Cinema film screenings for elderly attendees, providing more comfortable seating and improved signage.
In Wales, Goldstone Books in Carmarthen, will use its events space to offer "after dark" Creative Writing classes with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and Arts Care to those with mental health conditions.
Kett’s Books in Wymondham, Norfolk, will continue its One Community, One Book initiative, which saw the town come together to read one book together, with a series of events bringing the community together. In 2020 the bookshop will make the events more accessible and offer more volunteering opportunities.
Elementum Gallery in Sherborne, Dorset, will install a wheelchair ramp and grab rail to ensure the shop is fully accessible.
Launched in 2018, BA’s Diversity & Inclusiveness Grant has funded almost 50 projects across the UK and Ireland. A panel featuring Nic Bottomley, BA President; Uli Lennart, manager of Gay’s the Word Bookshop in London; Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher of Hachette’s new inclusive imprint Dialogue Books; and Cathy Rentzenbrink, author, former bookseller and former head of Quick Reads awarded the final grants.
BA m.d. Meryl Halls said: “It’s hugely inspiring and exciting to see the variety of activities bookshops have planned to increase diversity and inclusivity. Operating at the frontline of the book world, bookshops play a vital role in engaging readers, and it’s vital that they are safe and accessible spaces for all. The Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants project has been a turning point for the BA and bookselling. It has enabled new conversations around diversity in bookselling – and, most importantly, action. We are delighted to be supporting each of one of these brilliant projects.”