Over 2.3m raised – how businesses are helping Manchester International Festival happen

Manchester International Festival (MIF), which runs until Sunday 21 July, has raised more than £2.3 million from corporate sponsorship and philanthropic giving towards this year’s event, through a bold and ambitious fundraising campaign, which raises 10% of all the annual corporate giving in the UK outside of London.

Their support is vital to the success of the Festival, which attracts artists and audiences from across the globe, helps put the city on the world stage and in 2017 had an economic impact of £40.2 million.

This year’s Festival kicked off two weeks ago and a number of new investors, donors and philanthropists have joined the community that support MIF’s year-round work.

Joining MIF as Gold Supporters are Aviva Investors, the global asset management company; leading international property and infrastructure group, Lendlease; Property Alliance Group, one of Manchester’s leading developers; and Edwardian Hotels London, through their recently refurbished Radisson Blu Edwardian Manchester hotel and Peter Street Kitchen restaurant and bar.

Aviva Investors see Manchester as a key location for investment and have a number of high profile projects in the city. Partnership with MIF is part of their commitment to support the cultural vibrancy and sustained growth of Manchester. Their partnership activation has seen them take work from Festival Square into one of their buildings at the Corn Exchange.

Melanie Collet, Head of Asset Management, Real Estate, Aviva Investors, said:

“As part of our long-term commitment to Manchester, we want to support initiatives that make a positive contribution to the local economy and community. Manchester International Festival is a fantastic showcase for the city and we are delighted to sponsor what I am sure will be a hugely successful event.”

Lendlease, who are managing the project to repair, refurbish and restore the Grade 1 listed Manchester Town Hall and enhance Albert Square have also joined as Gold Supporters.

Simon Gorski, Executive General Manager, Lendlease, said:

“We’re very privileged to have been entrusted with the restoration of the Town Hall and supporting MIF is the perfect opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to Manchester. Festival Square is on our doorstep and we’re pleased to be able to support an event that will provide a significant boost to the local economy as well as the global reputation of this amazing city.”

Property Alliance Group returned to support the Festival with investment and a key piece of activation, which saw the Group’s new luxury residential tower included in a Festival commission: Manchester’s largest digital billboard on the Axis tower was used as part of The Anvil, an MIF commission that commemorated the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo Massacre.

Joining as a new hotel supporter for MIF is the beautiful and newly refurbished Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester hotel on Peter Street, which was also a key venue in The Anvil, when theatre company ANU took audiences around the city. It has been a host venue for a number of festival celebrations. Peter Street Kitchen has also supported MIF with a stunning collection of bespoke cocktails, titled Our Manchester International Festival Collection, featuring ‘Mulholland Drive, ‘City of Gold’ and ‘Trails of Vapour.’

Altrincham based residential developer Lovell have joined the roster of Silver Supporters as do The Hut Group, who recently acquired the city’s highly regarded Eclectic Hotels, along with a number of additional individual donors and supporters.

MIF’s fundraising success – with more than 120 partners – builds on the committed support of the Festival’s principal Public Sector Funders, Manchester City Council and Arts Council England as well as from Official Partners, Bruntwood, NCP and Manchester Airport Group.

The Festival’s partners are creative in how they bring their support to life, ensuring that in addition to invaluable investment, without which the Festival would simply not be possible, there is a range of activity designed to enhance the partnership.

Examples this year include Bruntwood Dines, a pop- up dining experience for clients and colleagues of Official Partners, Bruntwood; students from Manchester School of Art, part of Gold Sponsor Manchester Metropolitan University, have designed furniture and interiors for Festival Square and in The Glasshouse there, they hosted ‘Manchester Voices’ , a one off event to celebrate award-winning writers and poets from Manchester Writing School; and Silver Supporters Manchester City Football Club had a takeover of Festival Square on 12 July, including a photo exhibition celebrating their incredible 2018/2019 season – and a display of all six of their trophies.

Christine Cort, Managing Director of Manchester International Festival said:

We are so grateful to all of our partners and supporters who truly help make Manchester International Festival the extraordinary celebration that it is, adding to the cultural vibrancy of our brilliant city, putting it on the map, not just nationally, but across the globe. MIF would not happen without their support and we’re delighted to be welcoming new supporters to the festival family. It’s a hugely pivotal moment for the Festival and this support will continue to be vital on the journey towards The Factory.”

The Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, commented:

“Manchester International Festival is one of the city’s key cultural moments attracting audiences from across Manchester, and visitors from around the world.  We are delighted to see the business community providing essential support to the Festival which truly helps to promote Manchester as an international cultural capital, in turn attracting people to live, work, visit and invest.”

Official Partners


Manchester Airport



Public Sector Funders

Manchester City Council

Arts Council England


Media Partners


The Guardian

Manchester Evening News


Official Providers

Electricity North West

Mayfield Partnership

Principal Manchester



Silver Supporters

First Street



Eversheds Sutherland



Manchester City FC



The Hut Group

Transport for Greater Manchester

University of Manchester

University of Salford

Urban Splash

Workshop Properties


Corporate Members

Addleshaw Goddard



Brand Interiors

BuroHappold Engineering

Civic Engineers

CS2 Chartered Surveyors


Eric Wright Group

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios



Gorvins Solicitors





Landmark Investments

Leach Rhodes Walker

Levitt Bernstein

Lyndon SGB by Brand Safway


Rider Levett Bucknall



The Sheila Bird Group


Worthington Properties

Howard Sharrock & Judith Watson

Andy & Lynne Spinoza

Roger & Margaret Stephenson

Susie Stubbs

Liam Walsh and Matt Wardle

Sue Webster


Additional Public Sector Funders


UK Research and Innovation

Industry Strategy Challenge Fund

Salford City Council


Trusts & Foundations

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

The Granada Foundation

Jerwood Arts

Paul Hamlyn Foundation

PRS Foundation

Wellcome Trust


Gold Supporters


Edwardian Hotels


JW Lees

Laing O’Rourke

Manchester Metropolitan University


Property Alliance

Commissioning Circle

Tom & Jo Bloxham

Tony & Jane Elliott

Caroline & Andrew Jackson

Stephen & Jane Sorrell

Richard Thomas

Martyn & Valerie Torevell

John Williams



Jon & Rebecca Drape

Colin Offland



Andrew Abdulezer & Laura Samuels

Mark & Gabrielle Adlestone

Leila Alexander

Simon & Shalni Arora

Lisa Ashurst

Tony & Pat Attard

Jill Burdett

Sean Canning & Elly Szabo

Laura & Peter Carstensen

Janine & Dario Cottingham

Hopwood DePree

John & Penny Early

Mike Edge & Pippa England

Peter & Judy Folkman

Helen Gilman & Malcolm Pitcher

Helen Gribbon

Rachel Haugh

Laura Harper

Ruth & Ruairidh Jackson

Jonathan & Ann Joseph

John Kushnick & Delia Vazquez

Jim Leaviss

Paul & Liz Lee

Jonathan Levy & Gabrielle Rifkind

Helen McFarlane

Sally & Eamonn O’Loughlin

Nick, Lucy & Owen Meikle- Williams

Allan & Jo Melzack

Carolyn Mellor

Alice Rawsthorn

Vicky Rosin

Simon Sack



End of article.