Empty shop in Peterborough is transformed into a pop-up Literacy Hub for the summer holidays

27 Jul 2016

Families will be able to pick up more than just their shopping when they visit Peterborough’s city centre during the school summer holidays. They can also boost their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in a special pop-up Literacy Hub.

A temporarily empty shop unit in Bridge Street, Peterborough, has been transformed into an exciting hub of literacy activity as part of a pioneering partnership between the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough and City College Peterborough, which aims to drive up literacy levels in the city.

The Peterborough Literacy Hub was officially opened by the Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor David Sanders; Captain of the Peterborough Phantoms, James Ferrara and local author Justin Miles today (27 July). 

They gave away books, told stories and took part in some of the fun activities for families. Each week will have a theme and these include Jungle Safari, Under the Sea and Healthy Eating. Throughout the school summer holidays, families can:

  • Grow a ‘literacy tree’ by writing the title of their favourite books or a favourite quote from a book onto paper leaves. 
  • Take part in the Peterborough walk and talk trail quiz –a Peterborough Literacy Campaign initiative launched in partnership with cultural services provider, Vivacity which quizzes families on Peterborough’s landmarks to help support children’s literacy and communication skills.
  • Take part in a poster competition about their favourite books.
  • Have the chance to become a published author by submitting their favourite family recipe for the Peterborough Family Cookbook which is due to be published later this year.
  • Read a story in the book corner and take part in arts and crafts activities.
  • Pick up a free book and receive information on literacy support available in the area.

A full timetable of the dates and times for each week’s activities is available to download here and can also be picked up at Peterborough’s libraries.

After the wonderful success of our ‘pop-up literacy shop’ last summer which saw hundreds of families enjoying sharing books and literacy activities, we’re delighted that City College Peterborough are continuing their fantastic support by dedicating a huge amount of their resources into making the shop available to even more families this year. Our National Literacy Trust Hubs are all about harnessing a community’s assets and addressing low literacy and this is a shining example of how local partners are key to developing and expanding our work in the area. With such a fun and diverse programme of activities, where families can immerse themselves in imaginative arts and crafts, celebrate their favourite books, or have the chance to feature in a published cookbook, I’m looking forward to seeing this year’s Literacy Hub become a regular fixture in Peterborough families’ summer calendar.

Sally Atkinson, Manager of the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough

It's fantastic that the pop-up shop is returning to Bridge Street. Last year more than 1,200 free books were given away to children to take home to read - and that was just in four days. This time it's back for over a month. The National Literacy Trust has delivered some great projects in Peterborough including a library makeover at a city primary school. Their efforts have also contributed to a marked increase in the number of Peterborough primary school children that enjoy reading. So when you're in town over the summer holidays make your sure you pop in and find out more about what's on offer by talking to the great staff from City College Peterborough and the National Literacy Trust

Councillor John Holdich, Leader of the council and cabinet member for education, skills and university

It’s really exciting to have this opportunity to work with the National Literacy Trust Hub in Peterborough, Peterborough City Council, Barnardo’s and Vivacity to create a fun and accessible space for families to drop into during a shopping trip in Peterborough. We’re looking forward to meeting more people in our community and making a contribution to raising literacy levels in our wonderful city

Pat Carrington, Principal at City College Peterborough

The pop-up Literacy Hub at 33-35 Bridge Street, Peterborough PE1 1HH will be open on Tuesdays to Saturdays between 26 July and 31 August between 10am- 3pm.