Bruntwood continues its long-term support for Manchester International Festival, as the world-renowned festival prepares to take over the city

28th June 2023, 10:30 am

As Manchester International Festival prepares to take over the city, Bruntwood has been confirmed as an Official Partner, continuing its support of the festival since 2007.

The support includes official sponsorship of the stage at the much-loved festival square, which this year relocates to the spaces outside the landmark new home of Factory International, Aviva Studios, which is set to become a global destination for arts, music and culture.  Ahead of the building’s official opening in October, audiences will get a chance to preview the space at Manchester International Festival 2023 (MIF23) with a series of events inside and outside the building.

Recognised by Factory International as one of the city’s leading investors in commercial workspace, life sciences and technology, and champions of arts and culture, the firm has been a long-standing supporter of MIF, with this year marking Bruntwood’s 15th year of partnership with the programme.

The partnership highlights Bruntwood’s commitment to the future of the region, and its leading role as a developer of vibrant and innovative business communities. It also recognises the firm’s long-term support for initiatives that help create thriving cities and have a positive impact on communities.

Factory International’s new home, Aviva Studios, will be a flexible cultural space which will offer a year-round arts programme of original creative work, music and special events. The development is predicted to add around £1 billion to the local economy over a decade.

Bruntwood’s partnership with Factory International allows the firm to support the provision of new cultural experiences for customers, colleagues and communities within the North West.

Manchester International Festival is one of the leading arts festivals, and the first to be entirely focused on the commissioning and producing of ambitious new work. Artists from different art forms and backgrounds create dynamic, innovative and forward-thinking new work reflecting the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture, staged across Greater Manchester – from theatres, galleries and concert halls to railway depots, churches and car parks.

For the first time the much-loved Festival Square, the hub of MIF, relocates to the outdoor spaces of Aviva Studios and the free open-air stage, sponsored by Bruntwood, will host over 190 artists, bands, DJs and musicians including A Certain Ratio, Dutch Uncles, OneDa, The Red Stains, Agbeko, Werkha and The KTNA.

As part of the festival programme, the world premiere of

untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play – the winner of the inaugural Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting 2019 International Award – will be performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Nicola McGee, Marketing Director at Bruntwood, said: “We have always believed in the power of arts and culture to enrich places and connect people at Bruntwood, having been an avid investor in the industry since our inception in 1976. We aim to support projects and partners in every region that add to the cultural richness of our cities and communities in ways that foster diversity, wellbeing and a sense of belonging.

“At Factory International, art is explored by world-renowned artists alongside Manchester’s rising stars, in addition to nurturing the creative workforce of the future and working with local communities to build their programme. There is much synergy between our two organisations, with shared passions and objectives regarding the future of the arts scene, and the role it plays in our cities.”

Randel Bryan, Factory International Executive Director and Deputy CEO commented: “We are so grateful for Bruntwood’s support of Factory International. Their longstanding commitment to our organisation has enabled us to collaborate with incredible local and international artists and continue our work with communities across Manchester. We have long admired Bruntwood’s passion for the arts and their contribution to the city’s arts and cultural scene, and are delighted to be working with them during this pivotal year for our organisation and are excited for the city to experience the amazing line-up of artists on their sponsored Festival Square stage.”

Every festival year, MIF brings extra vibrancy to the city and leaves a lasting cultural legacy. The last festival in 2021 saw record audience numbers, and delivered significant economic impact to the region, despite coinciding with the global COVID-19 pandemic. More than 1.4 million visitors attended the 36 artworks and events, and over 100 Greater Manchester artists performed on the festival square during the 18-day festival.

Factory International will see a soft opening in June, allowing its first guests in to enjoy a series of events during MIF 2023, which will take place from 29th June to 16th July. Find out more about Factory International and MIF here.

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