BookTrust awarded £17.3m and recognised as National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England

Published on: 04 November 2022

The funding from Arts Council England (ACE) empowers BookTrust to continue bringing the transformative benefits of reading to children across the UK, with a new focus on families most in need of support.

A boy looking at a book at his local library during a BookTrust Storytime session

BookTrust has been recognised as a National Portfolio Organisation by Arts Council England (ACE).

BookTrust's new status as an NPO is an endorsement of the transformative power of reading and an investment in the creative development of young people. The £17.3m funding from ACE, spread over three years, will play a key part in the national strategy to deliver better outcomes for children through culture and creativity.

As Britain's biggest children's reading charity, BookTrust works with millions of children in every local authority in the country. The ACE funding will allow BookTrust to continue to work at scale to transform the lives of children through supporting them on their reading journey.

As well as boosting creativity, research shows that children who read regularly, and read by choice, achieve greater social mobility and score higher on measures of empathy, educational attainment and mental wellbeing.

What the funding means for our work

The funding from ACE will enable BookTrust to continue its Bookstart Baby programme, which provides books for every newborn in the country, and to work with low-income families and children in care to nurture a regular reading habit. Our Early Years Bookstart programme will reach 425,000 low-income families with books, activity resources and tips.

With a new strategy that has a strong focus on supporting the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children across the UK, BookTrust's research-backed programmes are delivered through local charities, children's centres, libraries and schools across the country.

BookTrust will create opportunities for more targeted interventions at different stages of a child's development, to increase their access to support that is designed to ignite a love of reading that will benefit them for the rest of their life.

BookTrust's programmes are informed by extensive research on the interventions, resources and support that are most effective for establishing regular reading habits. As a learning organisation, BookTrust will continue to test, pilot, and refine new approaches for putting its research into practice and developing new insights that will benefit children's lives.

Diana Gerald, CEO of BookTrust, says: 'I am delighted that this grant will enable BookTrust to continue to foster a love of reading in millions of children up and down the country in the coming years.

We know that there are lifelong benefits from becoming a regular reader and that it is never too early to start.

'This investment in the futures of our children and in their imaginations is more vital than ever as families face bleak winters and tough spending choices.'

Sarah Crown, Director of Literature at Arts Council England, said: 'I’m absolutely delighted that ACE has been able to announce the inclusion of BookTrust in our 2023-36 National Portfolio.

'BookTrust’s exemplary universal and targeted bookgifting programmes, which put books into the hands of every child in the country, are an extremely powerful tool in fostering a love of reading in all children, no matter where they come from or what their circumstances.

'By investing in this work, we believe we are making a profoundly important investment in the future.'

And Pete Massey, Director North - Northern Economy & Partnerships said: 'We are delighted to welcome BookTrust as a new Yorkshire based NPO.

'Their incredibly valuable work has a positive impact on the lives of children across the nation and their presence in Leeds strengthens an already burgeoning literature sector.'

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Topics: News

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