Tourism boost as airport backs local arts with 25 year encore


Arts organisations and Greater Manchester tourism has received a major boost with the news that Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is ploughing 340,000 into arts sponsorship in 2014.

The cash marks MAG’s 25th anniversary of arts patronage, which has seen it become one of the largest sponsors of its kind in the UK. During this time, it has spent more than 9 million supporting a variety of art forms and project, supporting jobs and expanding the cultural life of the region in the process.

Six organisations will benefit locally from MAG’s commitment to supporting the Arts in 2014:

• Bridgewater Hall
• Halle (principal sponsor)
• The Lowry
• Royal Exchange
• Feelgood Theatre
• Manchester International Festival

The 2014 sponsorships are in addition to two-year sponsorships awarded in 2013 to Bury Met, Library Theatre, Bolton Octagon, Oldham Coliseum and Wigan Jazz.

The sponsorship announcement was welcomed by beneficiaries. Caroline Clegg, Artistic Director for Feelgood Theatre Productions Ltd, says: "Manchester Airport was one of our founder sponsors, so we have a long and successful partnership with them. This is our 20th anniversary year, and we are delighted they are continuing to support us, as it has helped us grow from a grass roots local organisation, to one able to take Made in Manchester arts not just across the UK but internationally”.

Fiona Gasper, Executive Director of Royal Exchange Theatre, said: "The Royal Exchange Theatre is delighted to be working with MAG once again this year. It's fantastic that MAG so clearly recognises the importance of world class arts and culture for Manchester. We're very proud of the long-standing partnership we have forged and look forward to its future development."

Julia Fawcett OBE, Chief Executive at The Lowry, said: “MAG has been with us from the beginning. Their commitment to supporting our mission to bring the very best of art, dance, music and drama to the region has been unwavering and we are incredibly proud of our association with them. The Lowry has become an increasingly important platform for dance in the North of England and with MAG’s support we can develop that reputation further.”

Sarah Brookes, Head of Public Affairs for MAG, who oversees the airport’s Art Sponsorship programme, added: “We’ve always looked to support arts organisations as part of our contribution to local communities here in Greater Manchester. Our approach has been to support a range of schemes - from high profile organisations to smaller community initiatives - and to promote art forms to those who would not normally have access to them.

“We firmly believe that a healthy theatre and arts scene supports inbound tourism and investment, and we are proud to support such a vibrant cultural community”.

To celebrate the 25 year anniversary of Manchester Airport’s Art Sponsorship programme; dancers from The Lowry took inspiration from the recent #DanceAnywhere campaign and published a gallery of images showing performers from the North West dancing across the airport site – from the check-in hall and arrivals to the Skylink and on-board Concorde at the Runway Visitor Park. The images are available to view at:


For more information contact the MAG press office on 0161 489 2700 or email

Published on: 25/03/2014 16:48:13