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Double-decker bus starts new chapter as Burnley school library

Pupils Liam Neville (10) Freddie Whitfield (10) Katrina Stevenson (8) UCLan MBA student Ben Tsui, Matilda Farrar-Davies (6) Rogue Wilson (6) and Evie Mitchell (10)
Pupils Liam Neville (10) Freddie Whitfield (10) Katrina Stevenson (8) UCLan MBA student Ben Tsui, Matilda Farrar-Davies (6) Rogue Wilson (6) and Evie Mitchell (10)
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When you think of children reading at school, sitting on a double-decker would not be your first choice of location.

But business students from the University of Central Lancashire are helping a Burnley school to turn that vision into a reality.

Wheelie good

Wheelie good

Whittlefield Primary School has taken ownership of an old double-decker from Moving People, a local bus company, to use as a library. Now the aim is to raise funds to make it useable for the 225 four to 11-year-olds.

Ben Tsui, who is studying part-time on the MBA course at the Preston Campus, is one of four UCLan students involved in the literary project.

He said: “Our role is looking into three different areas to help the project; sponsorship opportunities, examining funding streams, for example what grants are available, and looking at the legal requirements for using a bus as a school library.”

Over the past two years, the school has converted its library space into a specialist pastoral area to help support the youngsters and their families. The lack of space at the Tabor Street school means the current library books are stored in a classroom and corridor.

Rogue Wilson, Liam Neville, Freddie Whitfield, Evie Mitchell, Matilda Farrar-Davies, (bottom L-R) UCLan MBA student Ben Tsui and Katrina Stevenson (8)

Rogue Wilson, Liam Neville, Freddie Whitfield, Evie Mitchell, Matilda Farrar-Davies, (bottom L-R) UCLan MBA student Ben Tsui and Katrina Stevenson (8)

Jo Foster, Whittlefield’s assistant headteacher, said: “We want an inspiring library space which will encourage our reluctant readers to pick up a book. We know a few similar projects have been carried out across the country so we hope the different environment will really give the children a hunger to get in there and find a book which they enjoy.”

The school is looking to raise money and obtain donations from local companies to help with the costs of improving the interior and connecting it to essential heating and lighting sources.

Mrs Foster added: “A lot of children at our school are from disadvantaged backgrounds so we are working hard every day to raise their standards of attainment in English and reading. Sadly we’re also in desperate need to improve the quality of our reading books and, although we’ve made a bid for some book funding to replenish a small part of our book stock we require a lot more help.”

To offer your support contact the school direct on 01282 429419.