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The Reader to receive Arts Council funding as National Portfolio Organisation

Written by Martin Gallagher, 27th June 2017

Earlier today The Reader was announced as one of 183 new organisations to receive National Portfolio funding from Arts Council England.

The Reader, a national charity based in Liverpool’s Calderstones Park, will receive £175,000 per year between 2018 and 2022. This funding will support the charity’s ongoing work to bring the social and health benefits of Shared Reading to communities across the UK.

Arts Council England drew attention to The Reader’s ability to reach those communities less likely to engage with the arts and to provide opportunities for children and young people to experience the richness of the arts, museums and libraries.

The Reader’s founder and director Jane Davis said: “We’re delighted to have this backing from Arts Council England. It’s hugely welcome - it will make it possible for us to grow Shared Reading in communities across the UK, but the honour of joining the family of National Portfolio Organisations is absolutely overwhelming. We are so proud to find ourselves alongside so many wonderful arts organisations that we know, love and respect, both here in the North West and across the country. We’re looking forward to growing the reading revolution across the country and developing The International Centre for Shared Reading here in Liverpool – we hope to invite our NPO brothers and sisters to visit very soon!”

Jane Beardsworth, Director North, Arts Council England said: “The Reader promotes the enjoyment of reading to everybody and explores the impact that the type of literature we read has on us as readers. We’re pleased to welcome it as a national portfolio organisation.”

 Arts Council England deliberately focussed on supporting arts organisations outside of London and the £700,000 in total funds committed to The Reader will help to support the growth of Shared Reading activity at The International Centre for Shared Reading, due to open in Liverpool in 2018.

The Reader is among 230 Northern organisations that will benefit from £414 million investment in the region and one of several literature-based arts organisations to be announced in the 2018 - 2022 portfolio.

Sarah Maxfield, North Area Director, Arts Council England said: “Our new portfolio in the North will reach more people in more places. Culture has a role to play in all our communities from the major cities to the North’s most rural areas – it brings us together, provides joy and solace, and builds a sense of identity – and contributes to our economy too. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to support such a range of excellent cultural organisations delivering to audiences and participants across the North. Our increased investment will mean that these organisations will be able to deliver great arts and cultural experiences for audiences and participants across the whole area.”


About The Reader

The Reader is an award-winning, charitable social enterprise which brings people together, changes lives and builds communities through sharing great literature. Our unique Shared Reading model brings small groups together each week to read aloud a story and poem with group discussion led by a trained Reader Leader.

For over a decade The Reader has been working in partnership with CCGs, Public Health Bodies and NHS Trusts across the UK to support thousands of people with a wide range of health and social issues including, mental health conditions, dementia, chronic pain, isolation and recovery from substance misuse.

Whether delivered by volunteers or Reader staff, Shared Reading offers people a practical way to improve well-being, build confidence and connect with others.

About Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. We invest public money from government and the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

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You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
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