The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Latest Round of Grants from £50k Diversity Fund Announced

17/05/2019
Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants Project

The Bookseller’s Association (BA) has today announced the second of three rounds of Diversity and Inclusiveness Grants for its members, as part of its Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants (DIG) Project.

Following the first round of Grants in October 2018, the BA received twice as many applications for this latest round. Projects awarded a grant include: funding for a festival in a marginalised community, wheelchair ramps, writing projects for minority writers, the provision of sensory story time materials for autistic children, the provision of books and conversation for older people in care homes, and several projects to reach young LGBTQ and BAME audiences.

The bookshops to receive grants in this round are:
Book Corner, Saltburn
Category Is Books, Glasgow
Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Brentwood
DRAKE - The Bookshop, Stockton
Housmans Bookshop, London
Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Kett's Books, Wymondham
Kibworth Books, Kibworth
Max Minerva's, Bristol
Lighthouse - Edinburgh's Radical Book Shop
Pages of Hackney, London
Perivale Christian Bookshop
Pickled Pepper Books, London
The Book Corner, Halifax
The Bookhouse, Monifieth
The Rabbit Hole Independent Bookshop, Lancashire

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the BA said of the latest grants: “We are so impressed by the energy and creativity we have seen going into these grant applications, proving once again the dedication and passion of booksellers across the country. We look forward to seeing how these grants are used to make bookshops even more accessible and welcoming to everyone.” 

The DIG Project was launched in 2018, with an unprecedented £50,000 being dedicated over two years to help bookshops deliver practical initiatives to increase inclusivity in their shop or in their community. The goal of the project is ultimately to enable real tangible change in diversity and inclusiveness in bookselling across the UK and Ireland.
The grants are awarded by a panel invited by the BA to oversee the grant selections, comprising: 

•    Nic Bottomley, BA President
•    Cathy Rentzenbrink, author, former bookseller and former head of Quick Reads 
•    Uli Lennart, manager of Gay’s the Word Bookshop in London 
•    Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher of Hachette’s new inclusive imprint Dialogue Books

Judge Cathy Rentzenbrink said on selecting the grant recipients: “What a privilege it is to sift through all the applications made by hard-working booksellers so that we can award them a grant to make more of an impact in their communities and bring the pleasures of reading to even more people. I can’t wait to see the results.”

Judge and President of the Bookseller’s Association, Nic Bottomley added: "This second tranche of judging was even tougher than the first because, as we had hoped when creating this grant scheme, the UK's bookshops have risen to the challenge and applied for the grants in greater numbers and presenting ever-more creative ideas. To narrow the field of applications down was difficult so there is no doubt these grant recipients are worthy and are going to make a real difference in their communities with their schemes. I'm so thrilled that so many bookshops are now thinking so proactively about how to make their stores equally accessible and exciting for everyone."

Judge Sharmaine Lovegrove said: “It's so great to see the range of ideas from bookshops across the country. From the previous cohort I can see this grant makes a difference and I hope we can encourage people that their bookshop is a space for the whole community and books are for everyone “

To apply for a Diversity & Inclusiveness Grant from the BA, bookshops can apply at https://www.booksellers.org.uk/industryinfo/industryinfo/Creating-Inclusive-Bookshops  

The third and final recipients of a BA Diversity & Inclusiveness Grant will be announced in September 2019.