Having Words...

Political sketch writer Simon Hoggart during his talk at Wigan Town Hall as part of the Words Festival
Political sketch writer Simon Hoggart during his talk at Wigan Town Hall as part of the Words Festival

A BOROUGH-WIDE literature festival has been given a funding boost to go ahead next year.

Words 2011, which will be Wigan and Leigh’s eighth literature festival, has been awarded £30,000 from the Arts Council England.

Organisers have already confirmed feminist author, journalist and scholar, Germaine Greer, to headline the April event.

Words 2011 co-ordinator, Gillian Forrester said she was “delighted” with the funding announcement which comes amid national government cuts to arts organisations.

Gillian said: “The Arts Council has shown a tremendous amount of support for Wigan’s Literature Festival and we are extremely grateful.

“This is good news for the volunteers who manage the festival and all the partners we work with, especially Wigan Leisure Culture Trust, who give us invaluable support.

“The plans for next year include a visit by Germaine Greer but we will also be providing work and opportunities to local writers and artists.

“It shows that Arts Council England has faith in Wigan, in a difficult financial climate.”

The final details for the two week programme of events are still being finalised but will include a session dedicated to rugby league. In League with Literature will feature a panel style discussion with Ray French, journalist Dave Hadfield, RL historian Tony Collins and RL author Tony Hannan.

Alison Boyle, Literature Relationship Manager, Arts Council England said: “Grants for the arts is Arts Council England’s open application funding programme.

“It invests National Lottery money in the highest quality arts activity and supports innovative and exciting activities that engage people in the arts. “We have awarded £30,000 from this scheme to support Words 2011 in recognition of the project’s valuable contribution to Wigan’s local cultural programme.

“The organisers have planned a very strong festival for 2011 which offers a great range of participative experiences for local writers and artists of all ages, as well as lots of opportunities to involve and inspire the local community.”

Past festival events have included political sketch writer, Simon Hoggart, poet Luke Wright and Tim Quinn of Marvel Comics.

Words 2011 will also provide script-writing workshops and storytelling and events will start from Monday April, 25.