The Lowry, Salford and Submerge Festival are delighted to announce the launch of CTRL – a brand new development programme for artists based in Greater Manchester looking to learn skills in creative technology performance, immersive experience making, and digital creation tools.

CTRL (CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH LABS) is a 6-month programme that will support 12 artists who are under-represented in the arts and digital sector to learn from inspirational creative technology artists. The programme will be an opportunity for participating artists to gain new skills and knowledge, connect with local and national artists and organisations, and start to develop ideas for the creation of new creative technology performances and immersive experiences.

Through CTRL, The Lowry and Submerge Festival want to invest in the digital and creative technology artists of the future; identifying, inspiring and building relationships with a new cohort of creatives based in Greater Manchester who are interested in developing innovative new live experiences using creative technology.

As a multi-art form venue with a prominent artist development programme, The Lowry is committed to supporting the development of artists and the creation of new work. In 2021 The Lowry launched its first digital commissioning programme called LIVE NOW, supporting mid-career artists and companies to pivot into making work with creative technology and paving the way for a new type of performance to sit within our programmes. The experiences from LIVE NOW further emphasised the need for more artist development programmes of this nature, offering time, money and support for artists to discover ways of working with creative technology with a view to embedding this into their practice.

Antonia Beck, Senior Producer: Artist Development at The Lowry said: “CTRL is our next step in supporting artists (particularly those under-presented in the sector) to explore new technologies and digital platforms, and we hope to inspire the creation of more ambitious, high-quality digital work being made and presented in Salford and Greater Manchester in the future.

“We are excited to be working with Submerge on this project, whose commitment to innovative, high-quality performance, music and creative technology makes them an ideal partner for this project.”

Mike Pony, Artistic Director at Submerge said “The CTRL platform is a step towards ensuring that artists from all backgrounds can experiment with the technology that continues to change our lives, work and art.

“By introducing some of Greater Manchester’s most exciting performance artists to the potential of new creative technology and digital practices, I hope we might demystify the immersive arts, and inspire the cohort to create arts and culture experiences that challenge and question the world we live in.”

CTRL will take place from January – July 2023 with the selected artists taking part in practical workshops led by inspirational artists including BRiGHTBLACK, Limbik Theatre and Rebecca Smith Urban Projections and exploring immersive storytelling, spatialised sound, eXtended reality, projection, light, gaming, robotics, and AI. The programme will also include public panel talks; visits to leading digital studios and galleries across the country; and bespoke mentoring sessions.

12 artists will be selected to take part in CTRL via an open call, and we welcome applications from under-represented artists based in Greater Manchester who are working across performance, media, and visual arts.


  • A £500 bursary as contribution towards your time to take part in this programme
  • Travel expenses for studio / gallery visits outside of Greater Manchester
  • Bespoke access support as required

To find out more and how to apply visit

Deadline for applications is Monday 12thDecember, 1pm.



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