Bookshops from across Britain have been awarded grants from the Booksellers Association £50,000 diversity fund.
The projects awarded a grant 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
The BA received double the number of applications for the second of three rounds of Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants for its members, as part of its Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants (DIG) Project,
In Scotland, Category Is Books, Glasgow, Lighthouse - Edinburgh's Radical Book Shop and The Bookhouse, Monifieth were awarded funding with grants awarded to London bookshops, Housmans Bookshop, Kings Cross, Pages of Hackney, Perivale Christian Bookshop, Greenford and Pickled Pepper Books, Crouch End.
Book Corner, Saltburn, DRAKE - The Bookshop, Stockton, The Rabbit Hole Independent Bookshop, Lancashire, and The Book Corner, Halifax were among the recipients in the North and in the Midlands, Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham Kibworth Books, Kibworth were successful. Elsewhere Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Brentwood, Kett's Books, Wymondham, and Max Minerva's, Bristol were also awarded grants.
BA m.d. Meryl Halls said: “We are so impressed by the energy and creativity we have seen going into these grant applications, proving once again the dedication and passion of booksellers across the country. We look forward to seeing how these grants are used to make bookshops even more accessible and welcoming to everyone.”
The DIG Project was launched in 2018, with £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.
BA president Nic Bottomley, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Uli Lennart and Sharmaine Lovegrove make up the panel invited by the BA to oversee the grant selections.
Author, former bookseller and former head of Quick Reads Rentzenbrink said: “What a privilege it is to sift through all the applications made by hard-working booksellers so that we can award them a grant to make more of an impact in their communities and bring the pleasures of reading to even more people. I can’t wait to see the results.”
Lovegrove, publisher of Hachette’s new inclusive imprint Dialogue Books, added: “It's so great to see the range of ideas from bookshops across the country. From the previous cohort I can see this grant makes a difference and I hope we can encourage people that their bookshop is a space for the whole community and books are for everyone. “
To apply for a Diversity & Inclusiveness Grant from the BA, bookshops can apply for a Diversity and Inclusiveness Grant here. The third and final recipients will be announced in September 2019.