AN education chief says Bradford can become a "beacon for the north" after being chosen to take part in a scheme to boost low literacy levels in the area.

Bradford Council has teamed up with the National Literacy Trust for the campaign, which has been funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, a charity aimed at improving the lives of people across the UK.

The scheme has been set up in reaction to 47.2 per cent of adults in Bradford having literacy skills which makes everyday life difficult.

A host of events will be held in and around Bradford over the next few weeks to launch the campaign and get more people reading.

The Gateway Children's Centre, in Eccleshill, will run a storytelling session on Saturday between 10am and noon. This event will include sing-a-longs and fun games aimed at fathers and children.

The ongoing campaign will be backing the Girlington Parade on June 18, which this year has a reading theme with a free book for each child.

Pupils from Whetley Academy, Girlington Primary, St Philips Primary and St Edmunds Nursery and Children's Centre will walk from West Park through the streets of Girlington from 1.30pm.

A Love Keighley poetry competition will take place throughout June and July for the town's children to write a short poem on why they love Keighley.

The panel of judges features Bradford poet and novelist Joolz Denby.

During August, Centenary Square's big screen will show a short film of the activities and give people an insight into the reasons behind the Bradford Literacy Campaign and a performance from the winner of the Love Keighley contest.

Councillor Ralph Berry, Bradford Council's executive for children's services, said: "This is a big, big opportunity for Bradford. I'm extremely excited by it.

"Bradford can become a beacon for the whole of the north in literacy.

"This is just a monumentally important programme for Bradford. It's a massive bit of good news.

"We are working with children but this is for everybody.

"It's a whole family approach that can be most effective thing as well, so they can share the joy of books.

"It's a permanent commitment. I can't begin to say how important it is for the whole of the district."

Bradford Bulls Foundation, Walker Books, Yorkshire Cricket Club, Council for Mosques, First Stories and Bradford Museums and Galleries have already signed up as partners to the campaign.

Bradford is the second area to be targeted as a 'literacy hub' by the National Literacy Trust's scheme after Middlesbrough was featured in January 2013.