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Creative Manchester is a platform we have created to bring educators, civic leaders and employers together in a dynamic union to collaborate and, importantly, help the next generation of innovators reach their true potential.

A decade or two from now, we can only guess at what books we’ll read (and how), what films we’ll watch, which areas of industry will flourish and grow. What work will even look like is a truly speculative exercise.

We can be certain of one thing: that creativity and innovation will be at the heart of it all, as they have been since our ancestors started shaping tools out of stone and painting on cave walls. We have it within our grasp not just to be prepared for that future, but to shape it.

Our programme of investment will have three principal strands:

  • undertaking new and pioneering research that has a direct impact on the creative sector;
  • making innovative changes to our curriculum, particularly where it can benefit employability;
  • becoming a much more active partner in the cultural sector in Manchester and beyond.

Through partnerships and engagement, each of these strands will make a measurable difference to our graduates, the creative economy and Greater Manchester, one of the most innovative, creative and diverse cities in the world.

Taken together, they will also prove once more that the arts and humanities are as essential to foster economic growth as they are to promote a more inclusive, open and diverse society.

Professor Alessandro Schiesaro
Head of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures

Working with you

We are at our most creative when we work together.

Our doors are open and we want to hear your ideas about the ways we can work together.

We have a strong history of investment in the cultural sector, and we know from recent successes what we can achieve when we collaborate.

We collaborate with partners across the world to deliver events that are internationally significant, such as Manchester International Festival. The University led on the successful bid for Manchester to become a UNESCO City of Literature.

The Blue Dot festival at Jodrell Bank Observatory is a dynamic meeting of arts and science and we are carrying out research projects and placements with The National Trust.

We want to enhance our contribution to the cultural and creative growth of the region through more collaboration.

We can work with you to develop placement opportunities, employability initiatives and we have access to some of the best collections and cultural minds in the world.

We want to continue to push the boundaries of creativity. Together we can build a future with creativity at its heart; let’s discuss how we can collaborate:

Listen to our Voices!

A collaborative project between the University’s Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies and Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST), this initiative supported the production and launch of a booklet of poems and stories by group members. One aim was to increase public awareness of the lives of women asylum seekers and the difficulties for people in the asylum system.

All proceeds from the publication will go to WAST to support them in helping female asylum seekers and campaigning for human rights for asylum seekers.

Creative communities

The University of Manchester has lots of incredible places for people to connect with creativity, and our doors are open to all.

From our internationally significant collections at the multi-award winning The Whitworth, John Rylands Library, Manchester Museum and Tabley House, to Bluedot, the cutting-edge festival that brings together culture and science in a captivating festival at Jodrell Bank Observatory, everyone is welcome.

And it’s not only about people popping in for a visit; it’s about sharing, engaging with and growing our collections, our resources, our community.

We can take our creative ideas, skills and resources out into the communities.

Together we can work to create new ideas, new innovations, new skills and ever more creative relationships.

Our programme of events, talks, workshops and festivals are open to all. Immerse yourself in a world of creativity and discovery, all with a uniquely Mancunian character.

Let’s discuss how we can work with your community:

Coffee, Cake and Culture

Hosted by the Manchester Museum and The Whitworth, this programme was designed for people living with dementia, their families and carers.

It aims to provide a stimulating environment to experience life beyond a dementia diagnosis and demonstrate how art, activities and cultural engagement can support positive health and wellbeing, resulting in benefits that range from the physiological to the emotional.

Creative leadership

Manchester has always had vision, and running through that vision is creativity. With 25 Nobel prize winners among our current and former staff and students, vision and creativity is embedded in all we do.

Today, the University continues to conduct ground-breaking research in the field of science, but we also have a long-standing relationship with the arts. With nearly 1,000 academics and research staff, we are the largest and most diverse department of humanities researchers and teachers within one faculty in Europe.

Creative Manchester is our strategic response to what is both a challenge and an opportunity. How can the UK continue to make creativity a crucial part of its international pitch? And what part can a university like ours play?

Creative Manchester will help us ensure that we continue to offer the most exemplary teaching and leadership. We will increase our cultural courses and our academic staff, and will continue to create opportunities for students to gain real-world experience with some of the best creative organisations.

Employers look to Manchester when seeking the best talent. We’re one of the most targeted universities in the UK by the nation’s top graduate employers.

We know that creativity in industry is integral to its success and that the economy is supported and enhanced by these creative minds.

Join the conversation and get involved:

Schools Poetry Competition

An annual schools poetry competition was launched on World Poetry Day 2018 by Jeanette Winterson, author and Professor of New Writing at The University of Manchester.

The theme for this year’s competition was ‘home’, and PhD students from the Centre for New Writing delivered poetry clinics within the participating schools, offering feedback, advice and guidance for pupils from years seven to 11. Winners selected in each age group were invited to read their poem at a special celebration event, hosted at the University’s Martin Harris Centre.

Contact us

Get in touch with us at or download the Creative Manchester brochure (PDF, 7.8MB) to find out more.