BARNSLEY is expected to get its own Poet Laureate to help improve the reading and writing skills of people in the borough.

A grant of £110,000 from charity Barnsley TUC Training will enable frontrunner Ian McMillan to take up the role for two years, and help promote a new campaign. 

The Hear my Voice campaign aims to encourage Barnsley folk to take park in cultural activities, and improve the wellbeing and reading and writing skills of people in the borough. 

As Poet Laureate, McMillan would be expected to act as champion for the programme. 

The announcement of the Hear My Voice programme and the appointment of the Poet Laureate will take place at a date to be confirmed before the end of May or beginning of June - although McMillan has confirmed his availability and willingness to take up the role.