Skip to content

Culture, Arts and leisure

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has welcomed new funding from Arts Council England as a new era for culture and arts across the city-region.

Greater Manchester is set to benefit from millions, including £7m of capital funding and £9m a year for the Factory, the new flagship cultural venue for the North which is being developed on the former Granada TV Studios site. Without Walls, a Manchester-based consortium of outdoor arts festivals, has also been awarded £1.2m a year.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “Greater Manchester is the beating heart of the North, boasting an unrivalled mix of heritage, culture, sport and music, and that’s something to be celebrated. This investment from the Arts Councils England is a massive boost to putting culture, arts and leisure at the heart of local communities.

“I want to build on this success which is why I’ve appointed Cliff Morris to lead this work. I’m looking forward to working with him to improve access to the arts, support the local industry, and encourage residents to get more active.”

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Cliff Morris, will lead plans to bring communities together by encouraging residents to get involved in Greater Manchester’s thriving culture and heritage. He will also work to ensure everyone can benefit from the world-leading music, theatre and sporting venues Greater Manchester has to offer.

Cllr Cliff Morris said: “I’m proud to be taking on this portfolio and look forward to working together with the sector to explore how we can open up culture and the arts to all our residents, no matter where they live or their background.

“Culture and the arts are an integral part of Greater Manchester, with events such as the Manchester International Festival for example creating real economic and social benefit. By continuing to invest, support and encouraging our arts, culture and leisure industry to thrive, we can boost the local economy, while improving the health and wellbeing of our residents and promote community cohesion.”

Greater Manchester currently invests £3m per year in culture including projects such as the Water Adventure Centre in Droylsden, which helps build young people’s confidence through water sports, and The Proud Trust, which supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans young people in Greater Manchester and the North West of England. Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre, the Hallé Concert Society, Bolton’s Octagon Theatre, the Oldham Coliseum and The Lowry also benefit.

In March 2017, Greater Manchester Combined Authority was awarded £1,489,255 from the Arts Council England (ACE), Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic England’s innovative Great Place scheme for a three-year project to explore how arts and heritage activity can improve economic performance, education, community cohesion and health and wellbeing.


Lead member

Councillor Cliff Morris



Information on Culture, Arts and leisure