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• Reading Cultural Services unveils new Corporate Sponsorship Progamme
• Bringing culture, community and businesses together

Reading, UK, 15th July 2008: Reading Cultural Services, the cultural arm of Reading Borough Council is pleased to announce the launch of Viva Reading!, its newly reenergised and refocused Corporate Sponsorship Programme.

The Viva Reading! brand was unveiled today by Reading Borough Council’s newly appointed Chief Executive, Michael Coughlin, during a short presentation to a host of businesses and press alike in one of Reading’s most prestigious venues - The Concert Hall. With its impressive ornate ceiling and famous Father Willis Organ, it was the perfect setting, combining architectural elegance with near perfect acoustics, to launch such an exciting programme. Melvin Benn, Chief Executive of Festival Republic and John Madejski, who is the Patron of Viva Reading!, were both in attendance, adding to the overall prestige of the affair.

Commenting on the Corporate Sponsorship Programme, Michael Coughlin stated: “Access to quality culture plays an important part in our well-being and health. Our aim is to increase participation in culture, throughout Reading’s diverse communities and to improve access to arts facilities for all. Funds raised through Viva Reading! go directly towards supporting community outreach programmes across cultural services, encouraging creative learning and participation in a wide range of activities. I am delighted that John Madejski, a name that is synonymous with Reading town, has agreed to become Patron of this exciting initiative.”

The new programme unites the existing Reading Museum Service and Reading Arts And Venues Corporate Membership Schemes, opening the doors for current and new members to enjoy all of the cultural benefits offered by the Museum and Arts Development, providing access to a host of entertainment venues in Reading. These include The Hexagon, Museum of Reading, The Concert Hall, South Street and Town Hall.

Existing members of both schemes will automatically become Viva Reading! club members. The benefits for new businesses joining Viva Reading! are far reaching and will not only help to improve community relations but will also increase employee motivation and skills, improve recruitment and help to enhance brand image and profile as well as conserve Reading’s unique heritage.

The Museum of Reading’s Corporate Membership Programme was first introduced a decade ago and the objective was to engage local businesses in an ongoing partnership with a particular focus on its unique loans service. This service enables businesses to display a ‘Flying Object’ or ‘Flying Painting’ from the museum in their offices, bringing wonderful objects out into the public, contributing to the achievement of the museum’s strategic aim to provide greater access to its collection.

Reading Arts and Venues Corporate Sponsorship Programme was introduced to raise awareness and profile and increase ticket sales in order for Reading to secure funds for Arts Development into the wider community.

Viva Reading! brings the two programmes under one umbrella, enabling Reading Cultural Services to build an even closer relationship and stronger links with the business community and their employees, so that in turn, businesses can get access to its world-class performers, music, drama and comedy and Reading is seen as a destination for attracting International art and cultural performances of the highest calibre.

The name Viva Reading! was chosen as this creates an association with life, dance, celebration, festivity, engagement, verve, culture, and above all innovation, all of which Reading Cultural Services feel the town should be synonymous with now and in the future

Graeme Hoskin, Lead Councillor for Culture for Reading Borough Council adds: “Viva Reading will foster great relationships between local businesses and the community, and each will benefit significantly from the programme. We want to provide opportunities for active participation in culture for all, inspiring businesses to think differently, developing engaging learning programmes for both adults and children alike.”

Reading Cultural Services has world-class entertainers, arts and culture and we are keen to get businesses actively participating in our Corporate Sponsorship Programme so that we can continue to drive creativity and inspiration in our community.”

If you are interested in finding out more about Viva Reading! benefits, or becoming a club member, please contact Paula Elliott on 0118 9001132 or

- Ends –

For further information:

Paula Elliott
C8 Consulting Ltd for Reading Cultural Services
+44 (0) 7894 339645 / +44 (0) 118 9001132

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