Peterborough businesses back book benches to get children reading

Designs used in a similar project in Stoke
Designs used in a similar project in Stoke

Businesses in Peterborough have joined forces to help bring an inspiring trail of book-shaped benches to the city next summer.

The BookBench project is a community-wide initiative bringing together schools, businesses and cultural partners to promote a love of reading across the city. It is delivered by Peterborough Reads and Wild in Art, as part of Peterborough Celebrates Reading.

Designs used in a similar project in Stoke

Designs used in a similar project in Stoke

Thanks to generous funding from local businesses and supporters, participating schools will receive a BookBench sculpture in the spring term to decorate with designs inspired by their pupils’ favourite books. Once completed the sculptures will go on display at venues across the city for children and families to enjoy.

So far the likes of Whirlpool, LNER and Savills have supported the project with Sage Publishing, Buckles Solicitors, BGL, City Fibre, Stagecoach, City College, Westone Housing and Serpentine Green also following suit. However Peterborough Reads are looking for more businesses to help bring the project to life.

Ian Whittles, Service Delivery Manager at LNER, said: “We are really proud to be getting involved in such an exciting community project and can’t wait to see which designs the children come up with.

“Reading plays such an important role in building confidence and aspirations in the next generation and the work of Peterborough Reads is vital for the city. We hope that other businesses will join us in supporting this initiative so as many children can take part as possible!”

Designs used in a similar project in Stoke

Designs used in a similar project in Stoke

Decorating BookBenches with scenes and characters from stories is a great way to inspire children to read more for enjoyment, which has a significant impact on their literacy. Young people who enjoy reading are nearly five times as likely to read at the expected level for their age, compared with young people who do not enjoy reading at all. In Peterborough, only two thirds of pupils left primary school able to read at the expected level - which is much lower than the national average.

If your business is interested in supporting Peterborough’s BookBench trail, please contact Lisa Hynes, Development Manager for Peterborough Reads by emailing lisa.hynes@literacytrust.org.uk or calling 07521 266584