James Patterson has announced the first round of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland to receive grants following his pledge to donate £250,000 in June 2014.
Over £130,000 has been allocated to independent bookshops following the first round of applications, spread across 73 stores across the UK and Ireland. Any independent bookshop with a dedicated children’s book section was eligible for a grant of between £250 and £5,000.
Donations will be used to fund everything from creating a children’s book festival, to running a weekly story-time, to creating and improving children’s sections. They will ensure more book events in schools, funding of an ‘on the road vehicle’ for a mobile bookshop and replacement of shelving and signage, as well as redevelopment of bookshop websites.
Patterson is committed to bringing attention to the important contributions of independent bookshops, and he is especially concerned with inspiring children to become lifelong readers.
James Patterson says: “I have been completely overwhelmed by just how many people have applied for the grants and impressed and enthused by the calibre of the applications. It’s been a very difficult decision process and I have worked to identify independent bookshops for whom this money may make a difference. I’m excited to follow their progress and see the proposed ideas in action.”
Tim Walker, President of The Booksellers Association, says: “We are very much looking forward to seeing the grant funding being implemented by the successful bookshops. We are thrilled that so many UK and Irish indies have shown such creativity and passion in their applications. For the lucky 73 shops, the James Patterson money will make a real difference to how they reach children and encourage them to read. There are some really exciting projects that this money will help get off the ground, from converting a van into a mobile school bookshop to running a model train around the shop to get kids engaged.
For the less lucky, we are encouraging them to re-apply next year, when the second tranche of funding will come on stream. I am very proud to be BA President at a point when a bestselling author is making such an unequivocal statement of confidence in the independent sector, and proud of the booksellers who are proving him right.”
For more information and to apply head over to www.booksellers.org.uk/campaigns/jamespattersonlovesbookshops