Popping up across Manchester this Summer will be BookBenches – 58 benches shaped like open books, painted with literary designs by Manchester schools and community groups, hopefully helping to spark a love of reading across the city.
As part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, you can even check out a special BookBench trail map to help locate and discover the benches around the city.
The BookBenches have all been painted by local schools and community groups, with designs including:
- ‘100 Years of Roald Dahl’s Wonders’, created by pupils at All Saints Church of England Primary School – this design was inspired by the books of Roald Dahl, who is a favourite author of pupils at the school
- ‘The Journey’, created by pupils at Heald Place Primary School – a bench inspired by the strength, courage and bravery of refugees around the world, which the pupils read about in The Journey by Francesca Sanna
- ‘How to Train Your Dragon’, created by pupils at St Luke’s CE Primary School – this design is based on Cressida Cowell’s How to Train Your Dragon series, one of the school’s favourite stories of bravery and overcoming adversity
- ‘Manchester’s Secret Gardens’, created by Manchester College’s Supported Learning Department – this BookBench is inspired by Manchester-born Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, as well as Manchester’s green spaces
24 cultural venues across Manchester will host BookBenches as part of the exhibition. A cluster of venues in the city centre includes Manchester Cathedral, the Manchester Arndale, the Royal Exchange Theatre and the National Football Museum. Outside of the city centre, venues including the National Cycling Centre, the Lowry and Manchester Museum will have BookBenches on display.
The Read Manchester campaign is run in partnership by Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, and promotes reading for enjoyment through a programme of activities and events. They bring together a range of partners to raise awareness of the importance of reading and its power to transform children’s lives, by galvanising a range of partners from the community, including schools, businesses, libraries and public services.
You can download the BookBenches map right here: