BIPC North East provided Greater Morpeth Development Trust a snapshot of the current funding landscape resulting in the trust securing approximately £8.5k worth of funding to contribute towards Morpeth’s very first Book Festival that took place on 9th & 10th April 2022.

This event was very beneficial for the South East Northumberland (SEN) county in terms of raising profile of local authors and self-publishers. The location was also very accessible for local people from primary, secondary, and even tertiary catchment areas surrounding the market town. Whilst the libraries within the surrounding towns deliver their own events, SEN has never had a book festival to cater to this specific community, therefore bringing authors and self-publishers based in and SEN community together.

Sarah Jayne Kennedy Robson, Library Supervisor and BIPC Local Champion at Morpeth Library was a key contributor to this successful event. Having previously worked in the Morpeth Tourist Information Centre, Sarah Jayne worked with the Development Trust to deliver a variety of events across many genres and themes. Since working for the libraries, it was the ideal opportunity to team up again to organise the Morpeth book festival.

With the help of Business & IP Centre North East, Sarah Jayne and the Greater Morpeth Development Trust then went on to secure an additional £8.5k which helped to fund promotional materials and advertising, along with book a variety of award-winning authors, who were well known by book lovers including Ann Cleeves and Mari Hannah.

“I invited BIPC North East’s Library & Information Officer Simon Hayward, to our regular event meetings. For the group, he provided a snapshot of the current funding landscape. He recommended, where to reach out to and identified a few places as to where our activity would qualify for the funding. We went from there and applied to eight bids and I believe four were successful’

The overall outcome of the book festival was incredible, the larger events sold out and received good coverage across the local press. The event not only supported the more renowned authors but raised the profile of lesser-known authors and for self-publishers who were just starting out. This is important for the SEN economy, as this provides this sector with a showcase and provides them practice”.

With the help of organisations like the BIPC, your support provides a gateway to beginning these types of events. Simon’s help was pivotal and played a vital role in securing the funding and has provided us some key learnings for the next event and has saved us months of leg work.

The funding also attracted local sponsorship opportunities.

The event attracted thousands of visitors from across the width and breadth of the county. The event even saw footfall from visitors residing in rural catchment areas including; West Northumberland such as Hexham and North Northumberland such as Alnwick.


Why is it beneficial having a BIPC Local centre within Morpeth?

Having this support in Morpeth is critical, having access in a town near you, where you can go, and you can ASK for help.

“The BIPC Local offer is so important; everyone has a right to access information and that is why Libraries are the perfect location to get business advice from.  When people seek information, they visit their local library!”


Looking for funding opportunities in the North East? 

GRANTfinder enables you to search grants and funding suitable to your business, charity, or social enterprise. All  our databases are free to access  via our BIPC North East Regional & Local Centres.  Click here to book an appointment.

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