£13m awarded to arts, culture and creative organisations across Greater Manchester

LOCAL theatres, museums and festivals are among 40 organisations set to receive more than £13m from the latest round of Greater Manchester’s Culture Fund, boosting arts, culture and creativity across the city-region.

This year’s recipients range from world-renowned cultural institutions to small publishers, and from major festivals to local dance companies. They also reflect a growing recognition of the role that arts, culture and creativity can play in the vibrancy and economic prosperity of our places and the good health and wellbeing of our people.

Among the successful applicants for grants from the Culture Fund, totalling £13,275,000, are a number of organisations receiving grants for the first time. They include Headspace Bolton, an arts group run by and for people with lived experience of neurodiversity; Salford-based music and talent festival Sounds From The Other City; Portraits of Recovery, a visual arts company in Oldham working with people affected by addiction to drugs and alcohol; and GRIT Studios in Stockport, which provides affordable community co-working spaces for artists.

The funding has been awarded through the Spirit and Sustain strands of the Culture Fund, which are collectively designed to support important organisations in Greater Manchester’s cultural landscape and those with both local and international impact.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester’s cultural pedigree speaks for itself. This is the home of pioneering music, art, and creativity with a social conscience. While we celebrate that world-famous heritage, we also need to champion innovation and support new talents to break through and make their mark.

“That’s what the Culture Fund is all about, and I’m pleased to see that this year’s cohort – which includes music festivals, museums, and community spaces – captures that breadth and depth of cultural excellence in Greater Manchester.

“Culture and creativity are major economic assets for our city-region, attracting visitors from across the country and around the globe. They also help shape communities and provide an outlet for us to express our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, which is why the Culture Fund is putting a new focus on organisations and projects concerned with physical and mental health and wellbeing.”

Greater Manchester is home to more than 500 cultural organisations and many thousands of artists, comprising the largest digital, creative and tech cluster outside of London.

Cllr Neil Emmott, Greater Manchester’s Culture lead, said: “This year’s Culture Fund grants will be supporting a whole host of inspiring and impactful cultural organisations across Greater Manchester.

“The 40 groups and organisations receiving funding range from the globally renowned to the locally treasured, but they all play a crucial role in our cultural ecosystem and contribute to our vision of a city-region where everyone has access to high quality culture and leisure opportunities.”

Tameside-based creative organisation Made By Mortals said: “Made By Mortals are passionate about ‘bringing people’s experience to life’ through the participatory arts. This funding tells us that GMCA are too. This funding also gives us the confidence and resources we need to empower people to improve their and their community’s health and wellbeing whilst growing our business.”

Mark Carlin, Director of From the Other in Salford, said: “We are extremely excited and grateful to enter into the GMCA Culture Fund Portfolio, especially in these difficult times. We’ve been running Sounds from the Other City for 18 years, Fat Out Fest for 12 and Samarbeta music residency for nine, but the past three have been simultaneously our most challenging and exciting to date! With this support over three years for our newly incorporated company, From the Other, we will be able to continue adapting, collaborating and growing platforms for emerging musicians and artists across Greater Manchester.”

MACFEST, the Muslim Arts and Culture Festival, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this funding – it’s a fantastic opportunity for us, especially to be supported for three years. This grant will enable us to continue connecting communities, people of all backgrounds, ages and faiths, celebrating all art forms and cultural heritage of the Muslim diaspora for MACFEST, and also to plan and host an African Heritage Festival in 2024 and a special culture and heritage project with women.”

In addition to these Culture Fund awards, Greater Manchester Combined Authority is working with Oldham Council, Arts Council England and Oldham Coliseum to develop and secure provision in the borough, and funds have been ringfenced to ensure continued high-quality cultural activity in Oldham.

Greater Manchester’s culture investment has increased by 40 per cent since 2017, and this year’s Culture Fund grants are the first to be awarded under Greater Manchester’s new approach to cultural investment, which was adopted by leaders last year following consultation across the city-region. It aims to better support delivery of objectives within the Greater Manchester Strategy, and acknowledges the changing and challenging landscape for cultural organisations and freelances.

The full list of Culture Fund recipients is as follows:

  • Art with Heart CIC
  • Arts At The Mill CIC (The Old Courts Wigan)
  • Arts for Recovery in the Community (Arc)
  • Brighter Sound
  • Cartwheel Arts Ltd
  • Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
  • Comma Press
  • Company Chameleon
  • Contact Theatre
  • English Folk Expo
  • Factory International
  • From the Other Limited
  • Gaydio Community Interest Company
  • Global Grooves
  • GM Arts
  • GRIT Studios CIC
  • Hallé Concerts Society
  • Headspace Bolton CIC
  • HOME
  • Made By Mortals CIC
  • Manchester Camerata Ltd.
  • Manchester Histories
  • Manchester Jazz Festival
  • Manchester Jewish Museum
  • Manchester Literature Festival
  • Manchester Pride
  • MancSpirit
  • Music Action International
  • Muslim Arts and Culture Festival
  • Odd Arts
  • People’s History Museum
  • Portraits of Recovery
  • Royal Exchange Theatre
  • Sheba Arts CIC
  • The Lowry Centre Trust
  • The Met
  • The Octagon Theatre Trust Ltd
  • Walk the Plank
  • Wigan Steam
  • Z-arts

Header image credit: From The Other Limited

Article Published: 01/03/2023 14:24 PM