NEWS – Winners Announced for the Indie Development Fund 2017

April 10, 2017

Nearly 50 independent bookshops applied for the £2000 grant, with projects ranging from mobile bookshops and original ideas for book events, to launching a student discount scheme and hosting enterprise days designed to teach school children about setting up a bookshop.

We’d like to extend our huge congratulations to following winners of the grant:

Castle Hill Bookshop


North Yorkshire

Castle Hill Bookshop have been selling books, music and a variety of gifts for over thirty-five years at the Castle Hill Bookshop in Richmond, North Yorkshire. They plan to increase the number of pop-up bookshops they run in nearby rural communities.

Coles Books



Cole’s have been independent booksellers in the Oxfordshire market town of Bicester for over 20 years. They hope to implement a loyalty card scheme to help keep the business of independent bookselling connected to their local and growing student community

Forum Books



The award winning Forum Books bookshop lies in the heart of Northumberland and will be using the grant to put on ‘Silent Book Discos’ for readers of YA in Corbridge.

Mrs Middleton & The Rabbit Hole


Isle of Wight

Home to all eclectic books, Mrs Middleton will be hitting the beaches of the Isle of Wight bringing books to sunbathers. They hope to create a travelling bookshop to visit schools, literary festivals and fetes.

Orbs Community Bookshop


Huntly, Scotland

Run by local volunteers, Orb’s Community Bookshop is dedicated to keeping reading alive in the town of Huntly, Scotland. They intend to use the grant to fulfil their mission statement to ‘create a reading culture’ in Huntly.

Tales on Moon Lane



Now celebrating its 13th anniversary, Tales On Moon Lane started off as side project of then full-time teacher, Tamara Macfarlane. She intends to use the grant to develop their reach into secondary schools with pupils from low socio-economic backgrounds.

The Bookshop


East Grinstead

Sitting in the heart of Englands’ longest street of timber framed building, The Bookshop is part of the lively community of East Grinstead. It aims to reach vulnerable members of their community by holding books fairs in nursing homes and hospices further developing its relationship with the local community.

Topping & Co


St Andrews

Topping & Co would like to use the grant to launch a proper Children’s Book Festival in St Andrews – a dedicated program of events which puts books at the heart of their community.

Warwick Books

Taken 10th April 2015


Warwick Books is the town’s only independent bookshop established in 2004. Focusing on their multilingual local community, they will host a series of engagement events featuring workshops for adults and storytimes for children in different languages in order to create a more inclusive bookselling environment.

Kett’s Books



Kett’s Books is owned and run by the community it serves with any profits being used for the benefit of the people of Wymondham and the surrounding area.They intend to make school outreach one of their main aims by upgrading their website and holding more book fairs to become more accessible to local students.

Comments from the Judges

Director of Group Sales at HarperCollins, Oliver Wright:

“It was a great privilege to judge the winners of the Indie Development Fund. The quality was outstanding and in the end it was very difficult to choose ten winners, but I’m delighted with the projects that were chosen and wish them every success.”

Author, Joanna Cannon, said:

There are so many brilliant people with brilliant ideas in independent bookshops, and I found it very uplifting to read all of the entries. I’m absolutely thrilled for the winners of funding from HarperCollins.”

Author, Jon McGregor, said:

“It was great to see how many engaged and active booksellers are out there, looking to do fantastic things for their communities. Lot of submissions came in from community bookshops and outreach initiatives, which was really encouraging, and I’m delighted with the overall winners.”

Read more about the announcement of the winners on The Bookseller here

To read more about the announcement of the HarperCollins Independent Bookshop Initiative click here

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