Our story

Since our founding in 2018, we have advanced from our status as a research project to become one of three Research Platforms at The University of Manchester, and our journey has only just begun.

Creative Manchester initially launched as part of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, an endowment-funded project offering academics, researchers and creatives the chance to partner and become involved in Manchester’s arts and culture, as well as across the Northwest and beyond.

We quickly appointed Creative Leaders – such as David Olusoga, Jeanette Winterson and Maxine Peake – and ran impactful engagement activities, helping boost awareness of Creative Manchester to external stakeholders. This led to us developing vital partnerships with city-based and UK-wide arts and cultural organisations, including UNESCO, Manchester International Festival, Contact Theatre, the Manchester Literature Festival, and Carcanet Press.

These partnerships and opportunities brought out new strands of research and teaching, presenting innovative projects that have seen significant, positive impacts on the creative and cultural industries.

As Creative Manchester’s capacity, experience and impact expanded, our three Research Themes began to take shape:

  • Creative Industries and Innovation
  • Creativity, Health and Wellbeing
  • Creative and Civic Futures

‘Creativity’ is a broad concept, after all, and these themes enable us to define what we do and attract new affiliates and cultural partners.

All of this culminated in Creative Manchester becoming a Research Platform in September 2021, joining Sustainable Futures and Digital Futures as one of three at The University of Manchester. With our ever-growing status and involvement, we at Creative Manchester are excited for the future, looking ahead at our three-year strategy:

  • Convene, develop and sustain interdisciplinary research communities across The University of Manchester
  • Raise awareness of creativity as practice across the three faculties at the University, as well as their research domains
  • Create and raise awareness of research opportunities
  • Ensure the University is well positioned within the sector and secures a reputation as a National and International Research Centre of Excellence for Creativity