Stockton and Corbridge stores up for indie bookshop award

The store was one of three in the North East and North Yorkshire named among the 77 finalists aiming to scoop the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award.

They are Drake the Bookshop in Stockton, Forum Books in Corbridge, and Kemps General Store Ltd in Malton.

A spokesperson for Drake the Bookshop said it was delighted to be in the mix for the award, and said it was “huge testament” to Stockton to be up for the honour.

They said: “We are thrilled to have been named as one of the best indie bookshops in the north of England alongside some of our great friends in the book world.

“It is a huge testament to Stockton, The Tees Valley and most of all our incredible and loyal customers, who are most deserving of this.

“Just yesterday one such customer came in to donate his hard earned work bonus towards our pay it forward scheme, which we will be using to give some pupils from central Middlesbrough a free signed copy at our World Book Day event with Loki author Louie Stowell next week.

“We get passionate about, and sell, books, but we can only do that with the support of the best customers in the north of England (well actually, the whole country, but let’s not get carried away just yet!)”

The award, sponsored by Gardners, celebrates stores at heart of local communities and seeks to highlight them.

This year’s cohort features 77 independent bookshops from across nine different regions.

The list includes ten book stores in London, North England, Scotland, South-East England and South-West England respectively, eight in East England and the Midlands, six in the Island of Ireland and five in Wales.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller managing editor, said: “One of the things that is driven home by the selection process for this award is how lucky book buyers in the UK and Ireland are as we are truly in an independent bookshop renaissance.

“This year’s cohort is one of the strongest I have seen in my 15 years judging this award. Indies have come out of the pandemic and into a cost-of-living and business rates crises, yet still through innovation and creativity thrive as never before.

“They are lynchpins for our high street, bringing jobs, footfall and communities together. You can’t really pin these indies down as they.”

Darlington and Stockton Times | Business News