London, 2017-Jul-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — British Land has partnered with the National Literacy Trust for the sixth year to support its Young Readers Programme – an initiative which has helped more than 19,000 children under the age of 11 to read for fun in their spare time. The Young Readers Programme is celebrating its 20th birthday this year.
Every child that participates in the programme is guided on how to choose books that are of interest and at the right level to encourage an interest in reading outside the classroom. Children are then given the chance to use their new skills to select three new books to take home for free.
The programme has become an annual fixture in the British Land calendar and this year took place across a record 25 local and regional assets including Drake Circus, Plymouth; Meadowhall, Sheffield; Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh and Old Market, Hereford.
A new addition to the programme is the ‘Young Reading Hero’ competition which identifies and rewards children under the age of 11 who use reading to positively benefit others. The competition is taking place for the second time this year across 15 Local and Regional centres.
A literacy-themed prize will be awarded to the winner at each of the 15 assets including £100 of National Book Tokens for their school, £50 of National Book Tokens for themselves, plus a copy of ‘My Brother is a Superhero’ by David Solomons – winner of last year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.
Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail, Leisure and Residential for British Land, said: “The Young Readers Programme is a fantastic initiative to aid children’s development as well as boosting literacy levels across the country and we are delighted to support the programme for a sixth year. The programme has been running for 20 years now which is testament to the success and creativity of the scheme which continues to engage young children and drive a passion for reading. Literacy underpins the long-term wellbeing and prosperity of every community and I’m very proud to help support the communities we operate in.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, said: “We know that reading for pleasure is one of the most effective ways to help children reach their full potential. Encouraging children to read for enjoyment is an important step towards boosting literacy levels. Our research shows that children who enjoy reading every day outside school are five times more likely to read above the expected level for their age than those who don’t. With the support of British Land, its retail centres and retailers across the UK, our Young Readers Programme has helped more than 19,000 children choose books to enjoy and keep. For many, these were the first books they had ever owned.”
Notes to Editors
About British Land
Our portfolio of high quality UK commercial property is focused on Retail around the UK and London Offices. We own or manage a portfolio valued at £19.1 billion (British Land share: £13.9 billion) as at 31 March 2017 making us one of Europe’s largest listed real estate investment companies.
Our strategy is to provide places which meet the needs of our customers and respond to changing lifestyles – Places People Prefer. We do this by creating great environments both inside and outside our buildings and use our scale and placemaking skills to enhance and enliven them. This expands their appeal to a broader range of occupiers, creating enduring demand and driving sustainable, long term performance.
Our Retail portfolio is focused on Regional and Local multi-let centres, and accounts for 48% of our portfolio. Our Offices portfolio comprises three office-led campuses in central London as well as high quality standalone buildings and accounts for 49% of our portfolio. Increasingly our focus is on providing a mix of uses and this is most evident at Canada Water, our 46 acre redevelopment opportunity where we have plans to create a new neighbourhood for London.
Sustainability is embedded throughout our business. Our places, which are designed to meet high sustainability standards, become part of local communities, provide opportunities for skills development and employment and promote wellbeing. Our industry-leading sustainability performance led to British Land being named a European Sector Leader in the 2016 Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark for the third year running.
In April 2016 British Land received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development, the UK’s highest accolade for business success for economic, social and environmental achievements over a period of five years.
Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com.
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Source: British Land