Manchester Metropolitan provides industry-focused design training for £2.6m Stockport cultural renewal project
18 March 2022
Stockport Council has been awarded funding via the government’s Cultural Development Fund
Manchester Metropolitan University will provide expert design and digital skills training as part of a new project that aims to transform Stockport’s historic centre into a sustainable, world-leading digital arts neighbourhood.
Stockport Council has been awarded a grant of £2.63m by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports, delivered by Arts Council England to deliver a ‘Creative Campus’ in the heart of Stockport town centre.
Led by Stockport Council and including Manchester Metropolitan alongside digital arts innovation organisation MadLab, the aim is to provide a three-year town centre regeneration programme.
This includes ‘Campus Talent’, a hands-on industry focused leadership and training programme led by design education experts from Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. It aims to provide the local workforce with digital skills for the future and raise confidence and aspirations through jobs-focused workshops, training and bespoke support.
The creative industries are already an essential part of the regional economy and the university is delighted to be part of an initiative that will boost creativity and entrepreneurial activity in Stockport.
The project is funded via the Cultural Development Fund, a pot of £48 million for galleries, museums, libraries and cultural venues across the country, which will improve people’s access to the arts, safeguard cultural assets for future generations and power economic growth through culture. It aims to give people access to arts and culture in areas with historically low levels of cultural engagement and boost economic growth.
Professor Martyn Evans, Pro-Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Manchester Metropolitan University said: “The creative industries are already an essential part of the regional economy and the university is delighted to be part of an initiative that will boost creativity and entrepreneurial activity in Stockport. This is an opportunity for our design experts to help to deliver the skills that citizens of Stockport will require if they want develop a career in the creative sector and also opens up opportunities to work with more established businesses on innovative research and knowledge exchange activities.”
Other aspects of the project include ‘Creative Campus’, creating several spaces by repurposing, converting and equipping properties for digital arts businesses and ‘Creative Placemarking’, a wide-ranging programme of public-facing digital arts activities ran by Madlab. Ranging from site-specific commissions and family-friendly skills activities to large-scale events this aims to tackle low engagement in culture, bringing in new audiences, engaging and inspiring visitors.
Cllr Elise Wilson, Leader of Stockport Council said: “This is fantastic news and this award will complement all the great work already taking place in the town centre, as well as giving a real boost to the local economy, which will benefit residents and future generations for years to come.
As well as this, our projects will repurpose a number of buildings in the town centre and will create an ‘eco-system’ of creative businesses, attracting more people to Stockport and creating a thriving, creative community. I look forward to working with Manchester Metropolitan University and MadLab to take this forward.
“It will help to ensure that our creative industries here in Stockport are well supported and will give us a fantastic opportunity to strengthen our offer to the creative sector. Improving digital skills is one of the council’s key priorities, arming residents with the tools they need to secure jobs and improve their employability.
“As well as this, our projects will repurpose a number of buildings in the town centre and will create an ‘eco-system’ of creative businesses, attracting more people to Stockport and creating a thriving, creative community. I look forward to working with Manchester Metropolitan University and MadLab to take this forward.”