The Wolfson Foundation has provided a major funding boost to improve the offer for children in six Manchester libraries.
The Foundation is providing a grant of £250,000 for a programme of mini-makeovers at Gorton, Longsight, Newton Heath, North City (Harpurhey), Withington and Wythenshawe Forum libraries.
The funding will also allow a new programme of digital activities for children to be developed within all six libraries.
New furnishings such as sofas, picture book boxes, new shelving, wall motifs and some quirkier and more striking book display units will be installed across the libraries, creating brighter and more welcoming spaces for children and their families to enjoy.
And thanks to the new funding, from September, local school groups will be able to take part in a variety of digital and literacy skills activities within the libraries – including being offered the chance to learn about stop-motion animation, green-screen filming and creating digital books.
Refurbishment work will take place at the six libraries from Wednesday 6 to Friday 15 July. The libraries will remain open to the public during the work.
Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Councillor Luthfur Rahman, said: “This funding from the Wolfson Foundation will significantly enhance the facilities on offer for children in neighbourhood libraries right across Manchester. Libraries help our young people to develop a life-long love of learning at an early age and with this magnificent support, we will be able to make these six libraries even more attractive and exciting for local children.”
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “Libraries are a place of inspiration for young people and we are delighted to have supported these exciting and dynamic learning spaces for children throughout Manchester. The Foundation is particularly interested in how libraries can help childhood literacy (including digital literacy) and we are also funding a research study on this subject.
“Education and learning are central to the activities of the Wolfson Foundation, and we have awarded over £20 million to some 220 projects across Manchester, including at the University of Manchester, HOME and Manchester Art Gallery.”