Pioneering arts work in St Helens libraries has persuaded Arts Council England to support their activities with a grant worth almost £150,000.

The money will be used for performances, workshops, exhibitions, digital arts projects and other events taking place through to April 2015.

One of the first examples of the new funding will see arts organisation AS Creatives running family arts activities at Moss Bank Library on Thursday, March 6 (3pm to 6pm) and Saturday, March 8 (10am to 3pm).

On Thursday, March 20 there will be a full day of poetry participation and performances at Billinge Library, including at 12.30pm workshop for adults.

At 2pm there will be a special poetry read and rhyme time and at 3.30pm fresh from BBC’s Rhyme Rocket, the poet Dommy B will be performing his family friendly show the Dragon Who Hates Poetry.

Head of Library Services, Sue Williamson added: “Artists of all disciplines will be able to perform, facilitate and create activity in our libraries for all our customers to enjoy.

"We’re particularly keen to attract new users into our libraries during this exciting phase in our development.”

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing, Planning and Community Safety, Councillor Richard McCauley said: “Over the last few years, St Helens has been a pioneer in developing, programming and staging arts activities in our 13 library spaces.

“This award from the Arts Council recognises the fantastic, innovative work that we’ve been doing, and during the coming year we’ll continue to stage high quality arts performances and activities that turn our spaces into real cultural hubs.”

For more information about the workshops and to book places at Moss Bank call 01744 677988 and for the performances/workshops at Billinge call 01744 677535.