Arts / Education
This new suite of rooms, enables Seven Stories to better showcase, interpret and give access to the Collection, supports the development of our programme for young people age 10+ and provides space of training activities and CPD.
The Trust supported Seven Stories in 2015, contributing to our £ ¾ m capital refurbishment programme. The scheme set out to improve visitors’ experience, increase building capacity to meet demand and support imaginative use of our growing Seven Stories Collection. Together this strengthens Seven Stories position as National leader for children’s literature. It also enabled revenue generation by improving functionality and efficiency, refreshing galleries, learning and hire spaces, and improving our bookshop. Specifically, the Gillian Dickinson Trust supported the refurbishment of Level 6, creating a new gallery and learning space. This new suite of rooms, enables Seven Stories to better showcase, interpret and give access to the Collection, supports the development of our programme for young people age 10+ and provides space of training activities and CPD.
The Gallery opened with an exhibition called A Bear Called Paddington. Packed with original manuscripts and illustrations, it explored how Michael Bond’s famous bear has been brought to life by different illustrators and animators over the decades. A world exclusive followed, with Illustrating Harry Potter which gave fans the exclusive chance to see stunning illustrations, sketches, models and full-colour artwork by Jim Kay for the first fully illustrated edition of J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
“The children can't wait to tell the whole school about their experience and are going to put up a display in the library and speak in assembly. Our Paddington Bear artwork is going to form the centre piece of a display encouraging children to read to/with their younger siblings.” - Diamond Hall School, Sunderland
The Learning Space supports growth of our learning services, especially for secondary schools, FE / HE students and professional development courses for teachers and educators. It also supports us to earn income through private hire. New integrated storage houses some of Seven Stories’ extensive book collections, and enables recommended reads and learning resources to be shared. CPD sessions have involved local universities, library services and childcare professionals. We have hosted public events including ‘white glove’ handling sessions to share our Collection treasures, hosted film screenings and illustrator workshop with Nick Sharratt.
“Thank you so much for a superb day. It exceed expectations and has inspired a group of students who will be working with children in different ways. I think they will remember it for a long time and it will therefore impact on many children. I was asking for inspiration. I got it!” - Senior Lecturer in Working with Children and Families, Cumbria University
Following the refurbishment, Seven Stories was Gold winner for Large Visitor Attraction at the North East Tourism Awards in Nov 2015.