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Read Manchester BookBenches 2017


BookBench sculptures popped up across Manchester to celebrate a love of reading.

10 July – 10 September 2017

BookBenches painted with literary designs by Manchester schools and community groups popped up across Manchester in the summer of 2017, helping to spark a love of reading across the city.

Fifty-eight benches shaped like open books were on display at cultural venues across the city from 10 July until September, as part of the Read Manchester campaign from Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, in partnership with Wild in Art.

Local families were encouraged to discover the benches, inspired by the city’s favourite reads, with a special BookBench trail map, which they picked up from their local library or venue taking part in the project.

Twenty-four cultural venues across Manchester hosted BookBenches as part of the exhibition. A cluster of venues in the city centre included Manchester Cathedral, the Manchester Arndale, the Royal Exchange Theatre and the National Football Museum. Outside of the city centre, the National Cycling Centre, the Lowry and Manchester Museum also had BookBenches on display. The venues hosted their own literacy-themed events, including storytelling sessions and book swaps, throughout the summer.

read manchester bookbench

The BookBench trail was officially opened at a launch event on 5 July. Held at the iconic Stoller’s Hall in Manchester, schools, community groups and representatives from local cultural venues gathered together to celebrate the hard work and creativity that has gone into designing and decorating the BookBenches.

At the end of the trail, the BookBenches were returned to the schools and community groups that created them as a lasting legacy of the project.

Cressida Cowell, author of the How to Train Your Dragon series and ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that a Manchester school has been inspired to decorate their BookBench by How to Train Your Dragon. It’s so wonderful to hear pupils saying that the book has taught them that it’s what’s inside that counts. I hope that families in Manchester will have fun exploring the BookBench trail this summer and will be inspired to pick up a book and discover a love of reading.”

For more information, please visit #ReadMCR #BookBench

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