On Tuesday 6 December, businesses from across the city pledged their support for the Read Manchester campaign at a breakfast event hosted by Sir Howard Bernstein, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council.
The campaign, run in partnership by Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, aims to promote reading for pleasure across the city and boost literacy levels.
At the event, representatives from businesses including Laing O'Rourke, BAM and Enworks joined Sir Howard to discuss the important role literacy plays in helping local residents develop key employability skills that will enable them to contribute to the economic growth of the city.
Sir Howard said at the event:
“We want to focus on reading because being able to read is the foundation for success in education and employment. Reading well improves skills, health, confidence, employability and happiness. This has a profound impact on the well-being and success of our city. We know that children’s early experiences of reading at home have an effect throughout their lives, so our parents, families and community - our employees - are all important role models for our future generation.”
The guest speaker at the event was Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust. Jonathan presented evidence on how reading provides a route out of poverty and highlighted the role businesses can play by championing literacy in the workplace and delivering literacy activities in the community.
At the end of the breakfast event, businesses committed to the Manchester Business Promise. They pledged to promote reading for pleasure in the workplace and wider community, and several promised financial support to improve literacy levels in the city.
Full list of businesses in attendance:
The Co-operative Group
Didsbury and Chorlton Traders Association
Manchester Metropolitan University
The Wates Group
Wild in Art