Developing community literacy in Cambridgeshire

The Community Literacy Project will help children to develop strong language and literacy skills in their early years and inspire families to become more involved in this crucial stage of their child’s development.

Community Literacy Project in Cambridgeshire

Cambridgeshire County Council will provide funding for four areas in the county, which will be used to deliver activities to support early language and literacy.

Local organisations in each of the following areas will be able to bid for funding:

• Wisbech
• Huntingdon
• North East Cambridge City
• March and Chatteris

We are pleased to be working with the National Literacy Trust on this project, so we will be able to benefit from their national expertise and knowledge of how community-based projects can really make a difference.

Why do we need this project?

In some areas of Cambridgeshire, children are not progressing as well at school as in other parts of the country. We know that at least part of the reason for this is that children’s early language and literacy development isn’t at the expected level.

Through analysing Early Years Foundation Stage data across the county, it is possible to identify where children progress less well with their early language and literacy. The Community Literacy Project aims to target additional funding for language and literacy activities for young children, their families and their communities in these areas.

How will the project operate?

The County Council plans to make funding available for groups to bid for so that support for community literacy can be delivered locally by trusted community-based organisations. 

Local delivery groups will be set up in each area. We will provide support to establish a new group or to build upon the work of an existing group. The group will support and guide the delivery of the project in their local area.

This process is not yet tightly defined as we want to work with local communities to develop the right processes that will work best locally.

When will the project start and how long will it run for?

We have started engaging with the key stakeholders in each area, and we will be running a series of local events/workshops so stakeholders can find out more about the project, and to help to shape how the project will work locally.

Following these events, we hope that the delivery groups will be up and running quickly, so that the funding can reach local areas as soon as possible.

Funding has been agreed for five years in the first instance.



How much funding will be available?

Initially, there will be between £20,000 - £30,000 per area available for the bidding process. There will be further rounds; the amount to be awarded through these rounds has not yet been determined.

What about other areas of Cambridgeshire? How can they get involved?

Funding has been agreed for the four areas identified above. However, we know that there are children and families all across the county who would benefit from additional support with early language and literacy. As this project progresses we will identify and publish examples of good practice and successful activities, so that groups outside of the project areas can utilise this learning.  We also hope to identify other sources of funding so that we can signpost other organisations to alternative opportunities for funding.


How can I ask a question?

We will gather and publish a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) over time, and publish them on this web page. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact:

Photo credits: National Literacy Trust, Suffolk Libraries & Early Years Service