£100k Boost for creative opportunities in Stockport in first phase of Town of Culture funding

Stockport Council has announced the initial recipients of funds this week under its Greater Manchester Town of Culture programme.

From arts workshops to songs developed about Stockport, hosted from Brinnington to Bramhall, a really diverse range of projects will receive funding to celebrate and develop the culture and talent on offer across the whole borough.

Visitors to Stockport will be able to explore the history of iconic areas such as Vernon Mill through art, or enjoy a street party courtesy of SK1 Records, thanks to the wealth of funding being distributed under the programme. Residents of Reddish and Romiley will be able to enjoy culture on their doorsteps.

Stockport was announced as Greater Manchester Town of Culture in May 2023, with a launch event at the Hatworks museum featuring Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, players from Stockport County and music stars Stockport’s own Blossoms.

Since then, there have already been a host of exciting projects happening, including Stockport Moves: a day to encourage everyone in Stockport to get up and get active; and the Real Public Art Show at Stockport War Memorial Art Gallery, which has showcased a fantastic range of creative talent inspired by the Borough.
There are four key pillars of the Town of Culture programme: Stockport Moves, Makes, Sounds and Tastes

This initial round of projects under these themes is funded by the Town of Culture Community Fund and the Creative Commissions programme. The Creative Commissions programme has been made possible by £50,000 of funding received from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and £50,000 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. We will be making further announcements in coming weeks about other funded projects under the Town of Culture banner. The Town of Culture Community Fund is still open for applications until 31st December 2023.

Examples of some of the projects receiving funding in this phase include a poetry festival for children, a map trail to encourage people to explore the Brinnington area, and an innovative project to create art from discarded wheel trims found in Stockport.

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, commented: “This is a really exciting time for Stockport. We already know we have a rich array of talent on offer across the borough, and our Town of Culture funding gives organisations the space to be creative and celebrate the cultural heritage of Stockport.”

Councillor Frankie Singleton, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Sport, added: “We’re funding a whole range of projects which means there is something for everyone to get involved in. It’s a big boost for our town and for the people of Stockport, and all ties in with our aim as a council to be ambitious for our place and people, creating opportunities for everyone!”

Nadia Ali, Lead for the Nourishing Stockport programme who are receiving funding under the Creative Commissions stream, said: “Food is a huge part of culture in Stockport. This funding will allow us to highlight and celebrate the different nationalities and their cuisines that live in Stockport. Watch out for a food demonstration coming near you to represent the richness of our Stockport community and its diversity!”

The Town of Culture programme continues at pace into September, with events such as the Tour of Britain, the return of the popular Art Battle Manchester to Stockport, and the La Boca to La Stocka project all kicking off during the month.

To find out more about Stockport as this year’s Greater Manchester Town of Culture, visit the dedicated website.