North Ayrshire's Tidelines Book Festival is celebrating today after being awarded £5,500 in National Lottery funding towards its 10th anniversary activities. 

The Irvine-based festival, which this year runs from September 21-24, will use the money to provide free tickets for under-25s, local families and community-based support groups.

It will also cover the costs of free writing workshops for older people, some much-needed new volunteer t-shirts, and some of the festival’s publicity costs. 

Tidelines was formed in 2013 and is run by a small, dedicated group of volunteers supported by a part-time co-ordinator.

The registered charity runs an annual programme of literary-themed events over one long weekend every September, as well as free author visits to local schools and ad hoc community events such as free creative writing workshops.

This year’s festival programme includes events with Andrew O’Hagan, Pat Nevin, Elaine C Smith, Liam McIlvanney and Sally Magnusson, as well as an exciting programme for young children.

Authors Graeme Armstrong, Alan Dapre and Amy B Moreno will also be visiting local schools across North Ayrshire throughout September and October.

There will also be a a very special event celebrating festival patron Andrew O’Hagan’s Irvine-set bestseller Mayflies. 

The full 10th anniversary programme is available at:

The funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest community funder in the UK, will see access to Tidelines events and activities widened to reach more of the local community.

Siobhan Staples, Tidelines co-ordinator, said: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery Community Fund has recognised our work in this way.

"We believe that everyone should have access to good quality live literature events at affordable prices, so the world of books and storytelling is accessible no matter where you live or what your economic or social challenges.

"Now, thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund we will be able to celebrate our tenth anniversary with even more of our local community than ever before.”

Tidelines volunteer, Janice Weir, added: “Volunteering with Tidelines has given me so much. I’ve learned new skills, made new friends and hugely increased my confidence.

"I’ve loved seeing the reaction of audiences, especially the children when they meet an author for the first time. It’s brilliant to have such a high quality book festival in my local community.”