Greater Manchester has been selected as a national pilot area for Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England’s 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 was awarded nearly £1.5m, the maximum permitted under the scheme, for a three-year project, entitled “Stronger Together – A culturally democratic city region without borders”.
GMCA said in a statement that the 10 councils would “work together to create a genuine shift in the way Greater Manchester approaches culture, ensuring greater parity of provision throughout the 10 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.”
There will be a focus on four key areas:
- Arts, heritage and health
- Education, skills and training
- Culture at the heart of city and town centres
The Great Place pilot funding will be used to develop:
- Greater understanding of cultural provision, how to maximise resources and remove duplication
- Increase cultural participation across the city region, with a focus on communities not currently engaged in arts or heritage activity
- Sense of resident empowerment, ownership and pride in distinct culture of Greater Manchester
- Recognition of role culture and heritage can play in delivering wider Greater Manchester priorities including health and wellbeing
- Better skilled workforce able to serve the growing cultural sector
Greater Manchester currently invests £3m a year into culture through its Section 48 Grants.