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Cultural freelancers across Greater Manchester urged to apply for Inspire fund

  • New fund worth £300,000 to support freelancers and small and independent music and arts organisations launched by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA)
  • Grants to help those affected by ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The first round of applications will open on January 30, closing on March 1

A new £300,000 fund is being launched in Greater Manchester to support freelancers and smaller organisations working in music and the arts.

Photography, literature, heritage projects and visual arts are some of the cultural groups who could benefit from individual grants of between £500 and £2,000.

Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, reports have shown the level of investment and support for freelancers, independent creatives, artists, musicians and performers across the arts could be improved, with many freelance artists leaving the sector.

The investment, funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) will be administered by Salford CVS (Community and Voluntary Services) and allow freelancers and small organisations to apply for funding over the next three years.

Applications are encouraged from independent artists, musicians and small creative arts organisations from across Greater Manchester.

Cllr Neil Emmott, Greater Manchester Combined Authority's Lead for Culture, said: “I am pleased to see investment in cultural organisations and individuals secured for the future. 2023 was a hugely challenging year for the delivery of cultural plans and projects. It’s crucial for our communities across Greater Manchester that we see tangible support for grassroots creative and cultural sectors. There’s so much creativity and ingenuity in our towns and cities and the Inspire fund is here to ensure we are investing in culture and everything it has to offer.”

The Inspire fund is just one of the five “pillars” of the Greater Manchester Culture Fund:

  • Inspire: One-off development grants of between £500 and £2,000 to seed good ideas and sector development across Greater Manchester. This programme aims to support individual practitioners, freelancers, and grassroots and community organisations, with grants given across several thematic areas.
  • Spirit: Supporting locally loved and important organisations, this grant programme will award between £20,000 and £200,000 per year. Spirit does not require organisations to deliver across all of Greater Manchester, but they will be of strategic importance to the “cultural ecosystem” of the city region. The “cultural ecosystem” is the whole of Greater Manchester’s cultural offer, all the people who work in it and all the people who take part in it in some way.
  • Sustain: This strand will provide support for organisations who require £200,000 or more per year to deliver Greater Manchester-wide activity and support for artists and grassroots organisations in every one of the 10 districts.
  • Collaborate: An opportunity for organisations in Greater Manchester to form consortia to deliver the strategic aims of the Greater Manchester Strategy: Greener, Fairer, More Prosperous. Consortia will be expected to match-fund activity to bring the greatest possible value.
  • Strategic: This pillar represents Greater Manchester strategic funds to fund activity that support delivery of the Greater Manchester Culture Strategy.

Rivca Burns, Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Music Commission, said: "This City is one of the greatest in the world for all art-forms and this commitment from GMCA to inspire the next generation of ideas, shows, works and music to flourish is exactly one of the reasons why."

Noelle, Producer, Performer and Song Writer, said: "Having a small, local grant scheme like this is an incredible opportunity to support freelance artists from the local communities of Greater Manchester."

The first round of applications will open on January 30, closing on March 1. For more information and to apply, go to www.10gm.org.uk/Inspire-Fund.html.

Article Published: 24/01/2024 13:47 PM