Greater Manchester Artists Hub- ORIGINATE FUND

The Originate Fund is offering opportunities for artists based in Greater Manchester who want to develop new performance work in the first half of 2021.

We are offering 3 awards that will each include the following:

  • £5,000 cash investment
  • A package of bespoke support in kind drawn across GM Artist Hub partners
  • An opportunity for you to present your work-in-progress to a public audience
  • Post-sharing feedback from GM Artist Hub partners including exploring potential for the work to be taken to full production in future

This fund is for new performance projects to be developed over spring and summer 2021, ending with a work-in-progress presentation of the work to either a public or an invited audience, depending on how the project develops in this time.

We want to hear from theatre makers + writers; contemporary performance + dance makers; circus + live artists.

Projects should be rooted in theatre, dance, circus, live art or interdisciplinary performance practice. The work can include elements of other artforms such as music or visual art but due to the make up and skillset of the GM Artist Hub network we can’t offer meaningful support to projects that don’t fit in a performance context.

We are particularly interested in live work that can speak to audiences across a number of our different organisations. The work can be for traditional theatre spaces, or non-traditional spaces but must adhere to evolving government regulations regarding the presentation of live performance. It may take place on an online platform, but must be live.

This fund offers support up to (at least) a work-in-progress presentation and will include feedback and exploring potential for onward development with one or more GM-AH organisation(s)


In order to be eligible for this fund, you must:

  • be over 18 years of age
  • make work in a theatre, dance, circus, live art or interdisciplinary practice context
  • be based in Greater Manchester (ie Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan, Manchester or Salford)
  • have at least three years experience within the industry outside of an educational context
  • have previously shown at least one professional production to a paying audience
  • have an idea for a new piece of work that has not previously received either National Lottery Project Grants funding or more than £1,000 cash investment from a GM Artist Hub partner organisation

We want to hear from a wide range of people from across the region. We particularly welcome applications from those currently under-represented in the industry as a result of barriers arising from social, gender, sexuality, financial, ethnic, cultural, religious, geographic or educational disadvantage or disability. If you would like to explore how we can support you in overcoming these barriers, please get in touch with us at and we will happily explore this with you in advance of your application.


We know applying for open calls can sometimes mean a lot of work and emotional energy, so we have designed a three stage process that we hope will make it quick and easy for you to apply.

Stage 1: Expressions of interest

To begin with, we want you to complete a short expression of interest form where you will tell us about yourself your experience and your idea.

Please also let us know if you have additional access needs so we can provide you with any additional support you might need, both in applying and in realising your idea if your application is successful.

We will invite around 12 applicants through to the next stage, and will give brief feedback to all other applicants.

Stage 2: Informal online conversations

The 12 selected applicants will be invited to tell us more about their idea through an informal online chat with a panel of GM Artist Hub producers and freelance artists.

We will invite six applicants to take their application forward to the next stage and will give feedback to all other applicants.

Stage 3: Developing a further proposal (paid)

The final six applicants will each receive a £100 honorarium and two sessions with a GM Artist Hub producer to develop their idea into a fuller proposal.

These final proposals will be considered by a panel of GM Artist Hub producers and freelance artists.

Three successful applicants will receive £5,000 and support in kind from GM Artist Hub partners to develop their work for a public presentation.

The remaining three will receive detailed feedback and may be considered for seed funding to help take forward their idea independently outside GM Artist Hub (e.g. as match funding for an Arts Council England application or to cover time adapting their idea for another opportunity).


Important dates:

Deadline for Expressions of Interest: Sun 10 January 2021

Informal conversations: Weds 3 & Thurs 4 February

Shortlist announced: Weds 10 February

Final proposals deadline: Weds 3 March

Final decisions made: Weds 17 March 2021


If you have any queries about your eligibility or any part of the application process then please email and one of the GM Artist Hub producers will get back to you. We are keen to make this process as inclusive as possible. Please let us know if you need additional access support and we will arrange this for you.

We are grateful to Esmee Fairbairn Foundation whose generous support has made this fund possible.

Published on:
8 Dec 2020
Opportunity deadline:
10 Jan 2021


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