Library workshops helping residents to explore the county’s dialect.

An innovative project led by North Yorkshire’s libraries has been launched to encourage hard-to-reach residents to delve into the county’s dialect.

In partnership with the Dialect and Heritage Project, North Yorkshire’s libraries celebrated Local and Community History Month in May. They encouraged customers to engage with the Great Big Dialect Hunt, a study by Leeds University to explore and document dialects as well as hosting dialect-themed events at libraries around the county.

Since then, North Yorkshire County Council’s library service has secured £12,000 funding from the Arts Council and the Dialect and Heritage Project to run a number of events during the summer and autumn for invited participants.

The Ey Up! Project is working with hard-to-reach residents including young people, military veterans and those with mental health issues. Libraries will work with one of these audiences and a single artist over four weekly workshops.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for libraries, Cllr Greg White, said: “The response to the project during Local and Community History Month in May was incredible, so we are delighted to be running a series of follow-up events over the next few months.

“Residents have really enjoyed celebrating Yorkshire’s rich dialects and it’s a great way to increase awareness of local history and bring research into the way we speak to the attention of library users.

“The standard of work has been really impressive and following the sessions we will be exhibiting a selection in the libraries for all our visitors to enjoy.”

The first workshops are being held at Scarborough library with participants from the Mencap charity led by print artist Dawn Brooks.

This will be followed by creative writing workshops with artist Andy Craven-Griffiths, in partnership with Pioneer Projects, at Bentham library and Orb mental health charity at Knaresborough library starting late-August.

The workshops will draw to a close with rap artist James Koppert working with young people in the Scarborough area.

The initial sessions build on words which have been collated during the project so far while discussing how they might be used. More words will be generated and explored to produce original works, with exhibitions going on display in participating libraries later in the year.