LAKESIDE shopping centre has donated 160 dual-language books to Grays Library.

The generous move is part of intu Lakeside's pledge to help improve literacy levels in the region.

Grays Library, located within the Thameside Complex in Orsett Road, welcomes a number of families for whom English is not the parents’ first language so, to help them support their children’s reading, the Thurrock Council Libraries team identified a need for new dual language books.

The new range of children’s books contains five different language combinations, all identified as the ones most requested by visitors to the library, and include English-Spanish, English-Polish and English-Arabic.

Annette Berry, Grays Library manager, said: "We’re delighted that intu Lakeside has so generously purchased these new books for our library. We have already seen significant interest in them since they arrived and we’re sure they will become well used and well-loved in no time."

Izzie Peskett, intu’s regional marketing manager, said: "Literacy plays such a big role in everyday life and we want to help local children get off to the best possible start with their reading."

intu Lakeside is partnering with the National Literacy Trust in 2014, donating books across the region and running free events for families to attend together with a focus on reading and storytelling.

The shopping centre's literacy events programme continues during the school summer holiday, with a month-long celebration of stories between August 1 and August 31.