Fifteen groups will receive four-year funding, from Streetwise Opera to Castlefield Gallery and The Edge

Manchester’s arts scene is to get a £1.1 million boost over the next four years, as part of The Cultural Partnership Agreement: grants that help community organisations with basic (sometimes prohibitive) running costs.

Fifteen companies made successful applications, with entrants judged on their ability to offer cultural opportunities for people of all ages, experiences and backgrounds.

The creative industry sector is considered to be one of the fastest growing in the UK, accounting for over 5% of the UK economy and employing 2 million people. Latest estimates from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport suggest the creative industries are now worth around £91.8 billon GVA to the UK and that the creative economy employs one in every eleven working people. 

In Manchester alone, a 2016/17 council survey found local cultural organisations generated around £134.2 million GVA through employment, contracts and attracting visitors - attracting four million audience members through 11,066 productions and commissions across every ward of the city.

170124 Craft And Design
Manchester Craft & Design Centre is a recipient

Councillor Luthfur Rahman, Executive Member for Schools, Culture and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said: "Manchester has a long and proud tradition of supporting culture and the arts, and for a very good reason. Not only do the arts provide entertainment and enrich lives, investing in them also clearly makes sound economic sense. 

"We want everyone in Manchester to benefit from the fantastic cultural opportunities on our doorstep, whether that is as a participant learning valuable skills along the way, or as an audience member trying something new for the first time and perhaps having their eyes opened to a new way of thinking and seeing.   

"We're determined to further increase participation in the arts and our cultural partnership grants go some way towards ensuring this."

The full list of organisations that will receive grant funding over the next four years include… 


Company Chameleon 

Leading contemporary dance company, who work with up-and-coming dance artists. Performances often reflect voices that are misrepresented or marginalised within society.


Artist-led organisation that creates progressive, socially engaged theatre and performance with people who have no previous arts involvement. 

Reform Radio 

Produces and broadcasts music, writing, drama and arts with young people who had little previous arts engagement.

Streetwise Opera 

Works with people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to produce music and theatre performance. 

The Men's Room 

Creates arts and cultural engagement that empowers and supports vulnerable, marginalised young men.

Previous recipients 

Brighter Sound

Creative music charity with a focus on young people, emerging talent and those who inexperience inequality within the industry.  

Castlefield Gallery

Art gallery and agency that promotes and develops the Northern arts scene. 

Community Arts North West

Arts development organisation that creates access to cultural production for people that can otherwise be excluded.


Charity-run venue fostering the creativity of teens and young adults with workshops, gallery space and performance. 

Manchester Camerata

British chamber orchestra, famous for innovation, that runs a pioneering community programme and dementia-led research.  

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Gallery, housed in a Victorian former fish market, which aims to make contemporary visual art and design accessible to all.

Manchester Histories

Charity that celebrates regional heritage through community events, including a popular biannual festival. 

Manchester Jewish Museum

The only venue of its kind outside London; chronicles the lives of Jewish people in Manchester. 

The Edge

Former Sunday school venue staging professional drama alongside with community outreach and productions.

Venture Arts

Runs hundreds of inclusive arts workshops annually, for people with a learning disability.