Factory International are recruiting for the second round of the community partnerships programme. We partner with organisations from Manchester or Salford to provide £10,000 towards core or community activity alongside 10 months of logistical and capacity building support.

In return, we’ll work with you to improve our knowledge and understanding of your local community, deliver creative workshops that are co-designed with you to meet local needs and open up a direct and honest dialogue with local people and community leaders, so that the range of voices from across the region are heard and reflected across our wider programme and have greater access to opportunities in your local area and at our new home Aviva Studios.


Our Community Partnerships Programme aims to create more equitable relationships and meaningful collaboration between community groups and larger cultural institutions. Our pilot programme in 2023 has led us to some brilliant organisations who are now part of our alumni group friends of the factory and who have helped us to shape this next round of the programme. Find out more about our pilot programme here.

We hope upcoming partners will become friends of Factory International and form part of a wider network of organisations who all share our ambition of making Manchester a greater place to live, as well as a leading creative and cultural hub where we invent tomorrow, together.

Our community partnerships recruitment is now closed.

Who can apply?

  • You are based in and actively working with communities in Manchester or Salford
  • You have been running as an organisation in your local area for a minimum of 12 months
  • You are a voluntary or community organisation with a charitable purpose, registered charity, not-for-profit organisation, CIC or a CIO
  • Your annual revenue is equal to or less than £500,000
  • You have regular access to and/or occupancy of a building with public access or community space (you do not have to own the building)
  • You are passionate about being equitable, open and accessible with an understanding of safeguarding
  • Your activity supports local people and your community e.g. you offer space to bring people together, host a community kitchen or support group
  • You are open to and have the capacity to work with Factory International, challenging us and growing together on our journey in our new home Aviva Studios
  • You are interested in exploring how creative interventions can support local and community need e.g. tackling loneliness,offering greater understanding of job opportunities and training in the creative sector
  • You are interested in accessing opportunities to attend and feedback on work produced by or taking place at Aviva Studios
  • You have an interest in community training opportunities from Factory International and Factory Academy

*If you do not have occupancy, a regular access agreement needs to be signed off with the venue and the venue needs to be one of your three referees.

We cannot accept applications from:

  • Organisations who mainly operate outside of Manchester or Salford. This programme is aimed at supporting organisations in close proximity to Aviva Studios, home of Factory International
  • Organisations who do not have a charitable purpose
  • Organisations who have been active for less than 12 months – there may be other ways we can support you, though, so please get in touch at creativeengagement@factoryinternational.org.
  • Anyone looking for retrospective funding
  • Anyone looking for funding for equipment or activity that does not support the community or local area​
  • Organisations who do not have regular access to a space or a venue or sign off from a venue to agree your regular access
  • Organisations who have annual revenue over £500,000

We are actively encouraging applications from groups who work with people who are underrepresented in Arts and Culture:

Those who have experience with mental health, physical health, disability, sensory impairment, learning disabilities, neurodivergence, substance misuse, survivors, working-class backgrounds, and those from the LGBTQIA+, global majority or traveller communities.

Contact us

If you would like to arrange a call ahead of applying or need any assistance with your application please contact our team on creativeengagement@factoryinternational.org.


Factory International is committed to:

  • Supporting local communities at a time of need
  • Being present in community spaces, building trust, sharing skills and opening dialogue with community organisations and local people
  • Offering access to commissions, shows and creative work at Aviva Studios, home of Factory International
  • Sharing opportunities, localising our skills and training offers, and being involved in MIF, employment, training and learning
  • Increasing access to art and culture, and providing opportunities for local people to participate, create and collaborate with us in engaging ways that are responsive to community needs
  • Delivering local workshops away from Aviva Studios and offering creative interventions to support your work in addressing local needs
  • Raising awareness of Factory International and MIF to communities and ensuring community voices are heard and reflected in work produced by Factory International and our Public Engagement Programmes
  • Making our commissions, productions and the arts in general feel more accessible to more people

We will:

  • Choose community partners who meet our criteria as part of our pilot programme
  • Offer financial support of £10,000 paid via three instalments over 10 months
  • Co-design a contract with you as a community organisation, tailored to your needs
  • Offer capacity-building support agreed upon in the co-design process
  • Genuinely listen to feedback and reflect this back in our programmes of work
  • Ask for honest discourse around Aviva Studios from our partners and local people and other stakeholders
  • Agree use of space to deliver community workshops, skills and training offers, to supplement not take away from your programming
  • Actively seek ways that we can support you in line with your community and local needs

This is part of a wider Public Engagement Programme that aims to support our local communities at a time of need and to reach many who face inequality of access to high quality artistic experiences – groups whose voices are not heard, nor their lives reflected, within mainstream cultural venues, productions and programmes.

Supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

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