Time To Read Timeline

Rachel van Riel (Opening the Book) delivers a six month Reader Development to ten NW representatives – funded by Arts Council England NW.

The NW region consists of 22 authorities including Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire, all of Greater Manchester and Greater Merseyside.


The team of ten continues to meet to exchange ideas with permission of the Society of Chief Librarians.


First National Year of Reading.


DCMS/Wolfson funding announced. Time To Read encouraged by SCL NW to bid for a regional project. 14 authorities partner and successfully bid for Reading Lifelines, an outreach project targeting 16-25 year olds.


Reading Lifelines appoints a regional co-ordinator (Julie Spencer) from within the Time To Read team, on secondment from her authority (Bolton) & funded by DCMS/Wolfson.

The Time To Read team is boosted by representatives from authorities participating in Branching-Out training (being delivered by Opening the Book, keen to support the development of regional networks).


Time To Read submits a second successful bid to DCMS/Wolfson. 18 authorities now partner in the new project Everybody’s Reading. A project co-ordinator continues in post.

ACE NW undertakes consultation about reader development activity in the region and recommends appointment of a co-ordinator for a wider range of activity.


When DCMS/Wolfson funding ends, 19 authorities, via SCL NW, agree to fund a full-time post, also supported by ACE NW. A new co-ordinator is recruited (on secondment from Manchester) for an initial two year period. (Selection Panel consists of two senior members of TTR team with ACE NW Literature Officer).

A steering group of stakeholders established: ACE NW, three SCL members, Libraries NW, MLA NW, Current Chair of TTR.


The Time to Read Coordinator post is funded for a second year. Time to Read has 22 NW library authority members. The MLA NW recruits a Libraries Development Officer who works closely with the Time To Read co-ordinator, assists with the business planning process and also contributes funding.

Main promotion: TTR promotes poetry with posters and postcards

Website published.


SCL NW agrees to fund post for a further two years. All 22 authorities contribute funds. ACE NW contribute a reduced amount of funding, but fund additional project work through Grants for the Arts.

Best Practice Publication sells nationally.

Readers Days x 5

Poetry posters and drinks mats.


Regional strategy (Readers for Life) is endorsed by SCL NW and adopted by all 22 authorities.

Here & Now: NW writers promotion.


Post renewed for a further two years to Sept 2008. All 22 authorities continue to contribute. ACE NW funding now ceased, though continue to support individual projects.

In partnership with Literature NorthWest, GFA funds subscription for independent magazines in all library authorities (for two years).

Big Gay Read, an LGBT reading campaign is delivered with Queer Up North, receives national profile.


ACE NW leave the steering group as Time To Read judged to be well established. MLA NW leave steering group due to restructuring

The Reading Agency invited to be represented on steering group

Pure Passion promotion of Romantic Fiction, delivered in Partnership with Romantic Novelists Association and Harlequin Mills & Boon.


Second National Year of Reading coordinated by The Reading Agency.

Partnerships Project Manager from The Reading Agency joins steering group.

Readers For Life Strategy 2 renewed for three years with greater focus on local authority performance indicators.

Two Positive Action Trainees work for TTR, in Liverpool & Lancashire, funded by GFA.

Pure Passion leads into major partnership with Harlequin Mills & Boon.

Big Science Read (Greater Manchester) events in 10 library authorities.

Time to Read Co-ordinator speaks at Australia & New Zealand Reader Development Conference in Melbourne.

Funding agreed to September 2011.


Post of Regional Co-ordinator confirmed as permanent on Manchester Libraries’ structure.

Cheshire County Council splits into 2 authorities called Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester. Region therefore, now 23 authorities.

Co-ordinator speaks at European Seminar on Libraries of the Future in Helsinki.

NYR best practice publication delivered across region.

Now That’s What I Call Reading Facebook campaign launched.


Pages Ago: a major promotion of Historical Fact & Fiction supported with GFA funds.

May 2010: change of government. Cutbacks to local authority funding made almost immediately. Lots of changes to personnel & structures.

St Helens withdraws from TTR from October 2010, due to re-prioritising of funds. TTR now 22 authorities.


Reading Places: a promotion of travel writing supported from core TTR funds.

Knowsley withdraws from TTR from October 2011 due to funding cuts. TTR now supported by 21 authorities.

Co-ordinator post becomes part-time (3 days per week) from June, to save funds for everyone. Funding agreed to March 2013.

ACE Literature Relationship Manager joins steering group.

Strategy renewed to March 2013


Knowsley rejoins TTR so 22 (of 23 ) authorities now participating.

For February’s National Libraries Day TTR supports an author visit to each of the 22 library authorities.

Reading Rewards: an adult reading challenge offering shopping vouchers as prizes is trialled.

Poetry Places ll is funded by GFA. Twelve poets’ work is promoted through resources and events in all library authorities. Collections of poetry books are added to stock.

Reading Agency Digital Skills project: Lancashire and Haltons take part, with learning cascaded to the whole region via TTR and nationally via RA led conference.


Reading Rewards re-run in 22 authorities.

Try Reading project linked to the Rugby League World Cup. ACE grant of just under £200k supports a reading project in 30 authorities across the NW and Yorkshire/Humberside. 19 authorities in NW participate directly.


Website renewed with more contemporary designs and more interactive features.

Magic of Libraries video commissioned and promoted via social media Youtube and Vimeo.

Cheshire East withdraw from Time To Read due to budgetary pressures. TTR now 21 authorities.


This Reading Business runs in 21 library authorities.

Jane Mathieson (co-ordinator) retires in August.

Future of TIme To Read confirmed and supported by 21 authorities.

Clancy Mason, Reader Development Manager for Blackpool Library Service, is appointed the new Time To Read Co-ordinator.


Artist Vanessa Cuthbert commissioned to produce a series of new artworks for Time To Read, to be used on the website, social media and book bags.

New Time To Read Reader Strategy published outlining the shared ambitions of all 21 Time To Read members.

Time To Read leads on the North West delivery of Celebrating Shakespeare, a national project funded by Arts Council England ensuring every library in the UK has access to resources to help celebrate Shakespeare.


Time to Read secures ACE funding for celebration of the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen: Lip Service commissioned to produce show “Thrills and Quills” which is then delivered throughout region plus Laura Jamieson designs and delivers the “Travelling Writing Bureau”, encouraging hundreds of people to write and swap letters to Austen.

Clancy Mason leaves Time To Read for Arts Council England. Ian Anstice from Cheshire West and Chester becomes co-ordinator.

Guide to delivering successful author events produced. Survey completed of charging for events. Representative meetings include get-together with NW publishers, guides to fundraising and producing a City Read promotion.

St Helens rejoins Time To Read, bringing numbers back up to 22.


Book Bingo promotion in all 22 library authorities.
Arts Council bid successful for New Words project to strengthen relationships between librarians and NW independent publishers.



Ian Anstice’s secondment ends and he returns to full time librarian post in Cheshire West and Chester Council.

Sue Lawson, Service Development Coordinator at Manchester Libraries, Infor.ation and Archives appointed as Time to Read Coordinator in August 2019.