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Booktrust is an independent British charity with the aim of encouraging people to engage with books. Established in 1992, it has received UK government funding since 2004, and inspired similar schemes in over 20 countries.[1]

In December 2010 it was announced that the government would cut its entire £13m annual grant to Booktrust's English bookgifting schemes.[1] The schemes provided over 2m packs of books to English children annually.[2] After a public campaign by authors including Philip Pullman and Andrew Motion, the government announced it would negotiate with Booktrust on renewal of the funding.[3]

Booktrust is responsible for a number of successful national reading promotions, sponsored book prizes and creative reading projects aimed at encouraging readers to discover and enjoy books. These include the Orange Prize for Fiction,[4] the Children’s Laureate, the Get London Reading campaign, the Booktrust Teenage Prize and Bookstart, the national programme that works through locally based organisations to give a free pack of books to young children, with guidance materials for parents and carers. Booktrust has developed two further free book programmes in the UK: Booktime, run in association with Pearson PLC, gives a free book to every Year One pupil, and Booked Up, which gives a free book, from a choice of twelve, to every Year Seven pupil. On Friday 17 December 2010 Booktrust received notification that funding from the Department of Education for its bookgifting programmes (Bookstart, Booktime and Booked Up) in England was to be cut by 100% from 1 April 2011.[5]


  1. ^ a b Editorial, The Guardian, 23 December 2010, "In praise of ... Booktrust".
  2. ^ Booktrust, "Our values / Impact". Retrieved 26 December 2010.[dead link]
  3. ^ Press Association, The Guardian, 26 December 2010, "Government in Booktrust U-turn".
  4. ^ Orange Prize for Fiction, "How the Prize is run". Retrieved 21 December 2010.
  5. ^ Booktrust, "Department for Education funding cuts to English bookgifting programmes". Retrieved 21 December 2010.[dead link]

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