Summer of Love for Libraries and Culture

Arts & Education

TAMESIDE Libraries and Culture's summer programme may have been online rather than on stage this year, but it was just as popular as ever.


In fact so many people have wanted to take part in the family activities organised since lockdown that the council service has more than doubled its social media presence and engagement.


Especially popular were the five weekly culture camps in July and August whose digital workshops were seen more than 70,000 times.


The camps, which were suitable for all ages, replaced Summer Theatre in the Park and craft activities at Portland Basin Museum. Each had its own theme such as "Nature's Wonders", "Dinosaurs" and "Let's Smile" about portraits and the borough's art collection.


Fun theatre performances like "The Hare and the Moon" by Fabularium Theatre Company and Pif-Paf Theatre's "Seed" were watched by 1,200 families. More than 300 children completed the John Muir Award, helping them to develop a love and understanding of nature, and the new countryside family trails also proved highly popular.


Online "Silly Squad" activities, promoted by libraries as part of the national summer reading challenge, drew 4,000 views and again backed up the #tamesidelovesreading campaign.


Cllr Leanne Feeley, Tameside Council's executive member with responsibility for libraries and culture, said: "Digital delivery added a new and exciting element to our popular summer programme which residents clearly enjoyed. Whether it was a performance or a craft activity they were as enthusiastic as ever about taking part, as the figures show.


"Our staff in the culture and libraries teams are committed to providing services that transform and enrich lives through quality experiences. I'm absolutely delighted that residents appreciate their efforts and found all the activities so enjoyable."