Greater Manchester has been selected as a national pilot area for Arts Council England (ACE), Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Historic England’s innovative Great Place scheme. Great Place is designed to put arts, culture and heritage at the heart of successful communities across England.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) was awarded £1,489,255, the maximum permitted under the scheme, for a three year project, Stronger Together – A culturally democratic city region without borders.

Stronger Together will see all ten Greater Manchester districts work together to create a genuine shift in the way Greater Manchester approaches culture, ensuring greater parity of provision throughout the ten boroughs, improving engagement and access, developing and diversifying our cultural workforce, encouraging greater movement between the ten boroughs and improving health outcomes for our residents.

Councillor Alex Ganotis, Greater Manchester Combined Authority Lead Member for Culture, Arts and Leisure said: “I’m delighted that Greater Manchester has been selected as one of the national Great Place pilots. Arts, culture and heritage are part of Greater Manchester’s DNA and this funding will ensure they are part of our future story.

“We want to maximise the impact of our rich arts, culture and heritage offer across the whole city-region. With so many fantastic museums, galleries, facilities and historic sites across our city-region we’re brilliantly suited to the task.

“This award will allow us to work with arts, culture and heritage organisations to benefit individuals and communities in each of our towns and cities. We’re going to demonstrate that through intelligent and collaborative working, culture creates real economic and social benefit for our whole city region.”

The project will draw on the excellent arts and heritage provision and expertise that currently exists across Greater Manchester, with organisations as diverse as The Halle, Bury Art Museum, HOME, Bolton Octagon, Manchester International Festival, MadLab, Greater Manchester Arts, Manchester Museum and Old Court Arts, working across the whole city region.

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England, said: “The Great Place Scheme intends to put culture at the heart of local communities. The National Lottery funding we are investing through this scheme in towns, cities and rural areas across the North will bring both economic and social benefits.”

Nathan Lee, Head of HLF North West, said: “Greater Manchester is a vibrant beating heart of the North, a place of great cultural diversity and community pride. With the first mayoral election just around the corner, this National Lottery investment promises to build on that legacy at a time of change. By strengthening networks and creating partnerships this exciting project aims to support a sustainable future for arts, culture and heritage while promoting the health and wellbeing agenda for people and communities across all ten boroughs of the city.”

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