Council awards more than £900,000 over three years to Manchester based arts organisations

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Grants totalling £939,982 over the next three years have been awarded by the city council to twelve different arts organisations in Manchester that between them deliver an extensive range of cultural activities and opportunities both for local people and wider arts audiences.

Each of the organisations awarded grant funding – which begins in April 2023 and ends in March 2026 – plays its part in helping make Manchester a thriving vibrant and liveable city with high-quality cultural and creative experiences that all Manchester people can benefit from. 

The Cultural Partnership Grants are designed to help with organisations’ core running costs to enable them to continue and extend their work with different communities in the city.  

 Arts organisations had to bid for a share of the cash set aside by the council for the grants, with each application judged on its merits against a defined set of criteria to decide on successful bids.

Funding was awarded to organisations based in the city or otherwise able to demonstrate that they have a strong offer and a track record of delivering cultural opportunities for Manchester residents.

Awards have been made across a wide range of art forms to reflect the broadest possible range of cultural opportunities.  Visual arts, music, theatre, museums, and heritage organisations are all represented amongst the organisations that have received grant funding. 

Organisations receiving funding for the first time this year through the Cultural Partnership Grant programme include Odd Arts, Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester Literature Festival, and Manchester Jazz Festival.

All organisations awarded grants had to meet a series of stringent priorities set by the council including the creation of high quality work with life-enhancing impacts, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and widening access and participation in the arts.  Organisations also had to demonstrate a commitment to the development of their own climate change action plans in line with the council’s ambition to becoming zero-carbon by 2038 or sooner.

This latest round of Cultural Partnership Grants reflects the council’s continued recognition of the importance of culture and the arts both to people and places.

Government estimates suggest the creative industries are worth £115.9bn to the UK economy and continue to be one of the county’s growth sectors, employing more than two million people.

In Manchester, despite pandemic restrictions still being in place for much of the year, during 2021/22 the city’s cultural organisations generated an estimated economic impact of £213.2m through employment, contracts and attracting visitors to the city.  

They reached an in-person audience of 3 million people through 8,865 productions and commissions, and had a digital reach through broadcasts to an audience of 4.3 million, plus a further audience of 2.2 million through web based activities. They also delivered a total social value through apprenticeships, volunteering opportunities, and health and wellbeing cost savings from engaging in the arts as an audience member, of £4.4m. (Source: MCC Cultural Impact Survey 2021/22, based on responses from 43 cultural organisations).

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy Leader, Manchester City Council, said: “Manchester has a long history of supporting culture and the arts and for good reason.  The arts enrich all our lives and help make Manchester a better place to live, work, and invest in.

“The city is home to some amazing arts organisations, and we want everyone to benefit from the fantastic cultural opportunities on our doorstep, of which there are many – whether that’s as an artist, or working for one of them, or as an audience member.

“Culture and the arts are for everyone, they’re good for us, and we’re determined to continue supporting and investing in the sector and doing everything we can to further increase participation.”

Here is the full list of organisations that will receive grant funding over the next three years:

Brighter Sound

Castlefield Gallery

Community Arts North West 


Hope Mill Theatre

Manchester Histories

Manchester Jazz Festival

Manchester Jewish Museum

Manchester Literature Festival

Odd Arts

Reform Radio 

Venture Arts

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