Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

£7m funding given to culture and social impact organisations across Greater Manchester

28 organisations are set to receive a share of £7 million investment over the next two years thanks to the Greater Manchester Culture and Social Impact Fund.

The culture and social impact fund, which is run by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), replaces and builds on the work of the AGMA run Section 48 scheme which was previously issued across Greater Manchester.

Of the 28 organisations supported, 39 per cent are not current recipients of Section 48 funding while the new culture and social impact fund has allowed for increased investment in Rochdale and Salford with a Wigan based group receiving funding for the first time.

Linda Thomas, GMCA lead for culture, arts and leisure, said: “This is fantastic for the whole of Greater Manchester and specifically for areas like Wigan, Rochdale and Salford who have been underrepresented with funding in the past.

“It is fair and proper that projects across Greater Manchester are recognised. There really are some wonderful organisations out there and we are very pleased to be able to support them.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham added: “Our creative industry in Greater Manchester is thriving, contributing £1.46 billion to our economy and continuing to grow.

“We must support this growth and make pathways to creative careers accessible to everyone by supporting the dedicated people and businesses that are using their talent and entrepreneurship to build our local economy.”

Wigan S.T.E.A.M., the first Wigan-based recipient is a participatory arts organisation that aims to build connections between science, technology, engineering, art and maths with culture and heritage.

The Wigan town centre organization deliver sessions in schools as well as opening up their base for workshops and events with the aim of supporting the development of the next wave of digital, creative and cultural innovators.

Chief Executive of Wigan Council, Donna Hall said: “Wigan S.T.E.A.M. are a great asset to Wigan and Greater Manchester and are focussed on opening doors for young people who want to pursue a career in the creative sector.

“The investment is thoroughly well deserved and will allow a great organization to grow and develop as they continue to educate and improve the lives of local people.”

This funding will provide more support for organisations working in visual arts, festivals, digital creation, museums and music and with people of BAME and LGBTQ+ backgrounds as well as disabled residents and refugees.

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

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: “It’s incredibly encouraging to see Greater Manchester Combined Authority make this kind of strategic investment, to support the cultural ecology of the city region. This significant investment, made in a challenging financial climate, demonstrates Greater Manchester’s understanding of how central culture can be in supporting all residents to live fulfilling lives.”

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England said: “Greater Manchester has a strong and diverse cultural offer and this investment demonstrates real commitment to supporting that offer, for the benefit of all GM residents. It’s great to see the range of established organisations and newer, emerging talent, included in this portfolio which will benefit people from GM, the north and beyond. We look forward to a strong and fruitful strategic relationship with GMCA and the Greater Manchester Mayor over the coming years.”

Nathan Lee, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, North West said: “It’s great to see such significant commitment to protecting and celebrating the rich and diverse heritage of Greater Manchester. We look forward to continuing our strategic relationship with GMCA, working with organisations across Greater Manchester to support residents to uncover and tell the rich stories of our region.”

Article Published: 14/12/2018 11:05 AM