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Culture, Arts and leisure

Greater Manchester is the beating heart of the North

The Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has appointed the leader of Bolton Council, Cliff Morris, as the portfolio lead for Culture, Arts and Leisure.

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.”

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.”

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 welcomed

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.

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.

New GMCA Culture and Social Impact Fund



The new Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Culture and Social Impact Fund which is set benefit residents across Greater Manchester by funding not for profit and voluntary organisations.

The Culture and Social Impact Fund will provide funding to properly constituted, not for profit, voluntary organisations, who are committed to providing excellent cultural experiences or work that has significant social impact across the ten boroughs in Greater Manchester.

The scheme builds on the success of the previous AGMA-run Section 48 grants fund, reflecting the priorities of the Greater Manchester Strategy, which is due to be released in Autumn 2017.

The grant programme will operate over a period of two years, from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2020.

Organisations are invited to apply for up to two years of funding which will be subject to annual review.

For more information on the fund click here.

For the Culture and Social Impact Fund application form click here.

For guidance on the application form, please click here.          

GM Moving

GM Moving


Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham has received and endorsed the four-year plan to get Greater Manchester Moving. He has committed his leadership to the ambitious plan, as part of a collaborative approach with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Sport England.

GM Moving is setting a new mission for everyone in Greater Manchester to become more active, securing the fastest and greatest improvement to the health, wealth and wellbeing of the 2.8 million residents in the city region.

This will be backed up by a new and stretching target, running over the next four years. The aim is to double the rate of past improvements and achieve the goal of having 75 per cent of people living in Greater Manchester active or fairly active by 2025.

Information on Arts, Leisure and Culture Fund: 


Lead member

Cllr Morris


Councillor Cliff Morris

Telephone: 01204 331094


Social media: @BoltonLeader -




Information on Culture, Arts and leisure