Peterborough BookBench Trail brings literacy to life at Queensgate

Have you spotted our BookBenches in the centre?

Designed and painted by Peterborough school children and artists, and led by Peterborough Reads from the National Literacy Trust, a series of colourful and uplifting BookBenches have launched to bring literacyto life for children and families.

Three of the beautiful BookBench sculptures can be found inside Queensgate, with others located in museums, cultural hubs and libraries across Peterborough. The challenge is to find them all!

The benches have been created by 11 local schools and 6 artists, taking inspiration from a wide variety of topics, including outer space, chickens, Mr Men, fairy tales and the travels of Paddington Bear.

The BookBench project inspired and motivated children throughout a difficult year for schooling – and now brings an installation to the centre which inspires children and families to continue to engage with literacy over the summer holidays.

“We’re thrilled that our shopping centre is home to a part of the BookBench Trail, and we’ve already seen our customers of all ages taking a moment to rest their feet and observe the art of the benches during their visit” said Centre Director, Mark Broadhead. “It’s now more important than ever to bring our community together, and we’re grateful to those involved for bringing this initiative to Queensgate for all to enjoy.”

Sally Atkinson, Peterborough Reads Hub Manager, says: “’I am delighted that we are able to launch the Peterborough BookBench Trail to bring to fruition the culmination of the Vision for Reading. Reading and stories are so important for all of us. They can transport us to different worlds, make us laugh, or teach us something that we didn’t know. When you read with a child, or encourage them to read alone, you’re not just helping them to engage with the magic of stories, but you’re also helping them to learn and develop skills that will help them throughout their lives.”

Peterborough Reads, from the National Literacy Trust, work with local partners and communities to deliver programmes and activities to ensure children and young people in Peterborough have the literacy skills they need to succeed in life.  To find out more information about the Book Bench trail and future literacy events in Peterborough, visit

For further information on events and more at Queensgate Shopping Centre, visit

The National Literacy Trust thanks the schools, artists, sponsors and cultural partners involved:

Schools: Lime Academy Watergall, Newark Hill Primary Academy, Nene Valley Primary School, Lime Academy Abbotsmede, Old Fletton Primary School, Peakirk-cum-Glinton CofE Primary School, Queen’s Drive Infant School, St Michael’s Church School, Dogsthorpe Infant School, Welland Academy, and St Thomas More RC Primary.

Artists: Adam Pekr, Judith Berrill, Art+Believe, Lois Cordelia, Anne-Marie Byrne, and Jess Perin.

Sponsors: Savills, Westone, LNER, City College Peterborough, Stagecoach, Cityfibre, Whirlpool Corporation, Serpentine Green, BGL, Buckles Solicitors, and Sage Publishing.