Culture Economy Communities

£8.6 million boost for Greater Manchester arts, culture and creativity

Theatres, museums, festivals and cultural centres from across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester are to be given a boost thanks to an £8.6 million investment in arts and creativity throughout the city-region.

Thirty-five organisations will receive grants from the Greater Manchester Culture Fund, set up by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to support cultural organisations that provide excellent cultural experiences and opportunities throughout Greater Manchester.

This year's investment - a 23% increase on the £7m allocated in 2018 - allows GMCA to support organisations in all 10 Greater Manchester boroughs, recognising the important role culture plays in the vibrancy and liveability of our towns and cities.

For the first time, literature and carnival arts organisations will join museums, heritage, theatre, film, dance, music, and visual arts organisations in receiving grants from the Culture Fund. There is also an increase in support to Salford, Wigan and Tameside, and more funding for Greater Manchester carnival arts.

Cllr David Greenhalgh, GMCA Portfolio Lead for Culture, said: “The groups and organisations recognised here represent some of the very best Greater Manchester has to offer. They are a celebration of the diversity and dynamism of our cultural scene, which continues to produce outstanding talent and provide entertainment and education to our residents and visitors from around the world.”

“Greater Manchester is a place like no other when it comes to culture, creativity and opportunity. Through the Culture Fund, we are reaffirming our commitment to the groups and institutions that are the lifeblood of our communities, and which contribute more than £1.4 billion to our economy every year.”

Alison McKenzie-Folan, Chief Executive Lead for the Culture portfolio, praised the calibre of applications to the Culture Fund.

“The variety of organisations represented here is a real indication of the rich cultural offer of Greater Manchester”, she said. “I’m particularly pleased to see our excellent literary scene represented among this year’s recipients, which hail from all 10 boroughs of our city-region.”

“The Greater Manchester Culture Fund is about celebrating our world-leading cultural heritage, and supporting the historic institutions and grassroots community groups helping everyone to enjoy the arts, engage with local history, and develop new skills and talents.”

The cultural organisations set to receive a share of the funding are:

GM Arts, MancSpirit, Brighter Sound, Manchester Camerata, The Turnpike, Sheba Arts, The Met, Wigan Steam, Company Chameleon Dance Theatre, Art with Heart, Manchester Histories, Manchester International Festival, Gaydio, Old Courts, Manchester Pride, Comma Press, Manchester Jazz Festival, Z Arts, Manchester Literature Festival, HOME, Octagon Theatre, Royal Exchange Theatre, Walk The Plank, Oldham Coliseum, Global Grooves, Peoples History Museum, English Folk Expo, Music Action International, Centre For Chinese Contemporary Art, Manchester Jewish Museum, Cartwheel Arts, Contact Theatre, Quays Culture, Arts For Recovery in the Community, and The Halle Orchestra.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “It feels like we have the best of both worlds here in Greater Manchester: a whole catalogue of internationally renowned artists and creatives, and a vibrant cultural scene right at the heart of our local communities.

“We want to this to be the best place to grow up, get on and grow old, and that means supporting the institutions and groups that enrich our places and create new opportunities in our vibrant, diverse economy.

“This portfolio properly recognises culture’s role in creating lively, liveable places and thriving communities, which is why we’ve increased our investment to support organisations in all 10 of our districts. This investment celebrates culture and creativity and makes sure they are visible and accessible across all our town and city centres.”

The increased funding and provision in the Greater Manchester Culture Fund aligns with the Culture Strategy, with the objective that by 2024, Greater Manchester’s cultural offer will reflect the diversity of our people, who feel empowered to share their stories with the world, improving their wellbeing and increasing the prosperity of our businesses and the attractiveness of our places.

Greater Manchester’s Night-Time Economy Adviser Sacha Lord also welcomed the investment. “Greater Manchester’s international reputation as a cultural hotspot continues to grow," he said. "People know us around the world for our music, our art, our literature and our history and this investment recognises the importance of culture and creativity to that reputation.

“It also shows just how much Greater Manchester values the contribution theatres, music venues, clubs and festivals make to the vibrancy of our town and city centres and high streets, especially during the night-time. This increased investment directly supports delivery of my Night-Time Economy Blueprint and, at a challenging time for local government, demonstrates real foresight, leadership and commitment to keeping our town and city centres thriving and maintaining and growing our international reputation."

This year there were 103 applications to the Culture Fund. The successful organisations will work with and in communities across Greater Manchester, delivering on the four main objectives of the Culture Fund:

  • Contribute to the recognition of Greater Manchester locally, nationally and internationally to attract new investment, new visitors and new talent to Greater Manchester;
  • Make a positive contribution to improving skills and employability of residents in Greater Manchester, including support for the creative education, expression and ambition of young people across Greater Manchester;
  • Play a strong role in developing strong and inclusive communities and an improved quality of life for residents, particularly those residents at risk of disengagement or social isolation.
  • Be able to evidence how the project will make a positive contribution to improving residents’ health and well-being.

This current phase of the grant programme will operate over a period of two years, from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022.

Article Published: 05/03/2020 06:55 AM