Libraries across Wiltshire will host a year long programme of creative activities to inspire and reach out to people following a successful bid for national funding.

The Arts Council recognised Wiltshire’s Council’s original ideas and granted the maximum amount of £100,000 funding to the Wiltshire project called Creative Libraries.

The project will involve a touring exhibition of books from various museum collections, opportunities to take part in a community memory project which will reflect upon the lives of people living in rural parts of the county, an exciting performance in three of Wiltshire’s largest libraries bringing storybook characters to life amongst the shelves, and artists working with older people with limited mobility to use the written word to inspire movement and even dance.

The grant was created by the Arts Council to help support libraries working with their local community to develop new opportunities to take part in artistic and cultural activities.

Creative Libraries will explore new ways of connecting people in rural areas, particularly older and isolated people who may find it difficult to attend cultural events.

The project will offer opportunities for communities to develop their own projects and for groups to take part in a wide range of participatory arts activities within libraries.

Jonathan Seed, cabinet member for libraries said: “Libraries are at the heart of our communities and are an excellent venue to bring literature to life but also to reach out to those who may find it more difficult to get involved in cultural events.

“The power of the written word is being translated into a host of colourful events and we hope this year long celebration will inspire longer term projects which will enrich people’s lives across the county.”