How donations & sponsorship are helping cultural organisations in the North

Arts and culture in this country thrive on a mixed funding model of which donations and sponsorship are a very important element.

Two of the Arts Council’s National portfolio organisations in Greater Manchester have recently received significant financial investment of this nature – the Hallé Orchestra through sponsorship and The Lowry from two donations.

PZ Cussons has become the Hallé Orchestra’s first Diamond Partner. The link between the Hallé and PZ Cussons goes back over half a century – Cussons Sons & Co. Ltd is credited in the list of companies supporting the Hallé in the programmes for the first of Barbirolli’s Industrial Concerts in 1952. More recently, the company has been a major sponsor of the Hallé and since 2010 has been its principal sponsor alongside Manchester Airport.

The new partnership was announced at a reception at the PZ Cussons offices on 14 October, which featured performances from musicians from the Hallé, The Seashell Trust Signing Choir and the PZ Cussons Corporate Choir. The evening also featured the screening of a new film commissioned by PZ Cussons and the Hallé, and produced by Media Four, which promotes the range of opportunities and ways in which corporate organisations can partner with the Hallé.

The Lowry has announced a £1,000,000 donation from Andrew and Zoë Law of the Law Family Charitable Foundation: the largest private donation in the organisation’s 14 year history. In recognition of their donation, the Main Gallery spaces at The Lowry will be renamed The Andrew and Zoë Law Galleries.

Andrew Law, who grew up in Manchester, and Zoë who worked in the music industry there, are keen LS Lowry collectors. Together they established the Law Family Charitable Foundation to provide long-term support for worthwhile causes that are important to them.

The chairman of The Lowry, Sir Rod Aldridge, has made a £400,000 private donation with his wife, Carol (Lady Aldridge) to the organisation to support its learning and engagement programme.

It is the latest donation inspired by the couple’s commitment to children and young people – their support having previously helped to develop and deliver The Lowry’s ‘Inspired to Aspire’ work and skills programme and Youth Dance Programme.

In recognition of this latest, generous donation, The Lowry Studio – where many of the arts centre’s community workshops and activities take place – will be renamed The Aldridge Studio at The Lowry.

Clare Titley, Director, Philanthropy, Arts Council England said, ‘The Arts Council is committed to working closely with the arts and cultural sector to increase philanthropic giving to enable arts organisations, museums and libraries to be resilient and sustainable. As we can see from these two examples in Greater Manchester, contributions from donors and sponsors add hugely to England’s world class arts and cultural sector.’

Since 2008 The Prince of Wales Arts Philanthropy Medal has recognised and celebrated philanthropists who help the arts to thrive in communities across the UK. This year’s five recipients – two of whom support work in the North – were presented with their medals at a ceremony on 12 November.

Liz and Terry Bramall started the Bramall Foundation seven years ago with their two daughters. One of the primary aims of the Bramall Foundation is to support arts projects that help to create opportunities for communities and individuals with a particular emphasis on the Bramall’s home county of Yorkshire, including Northern Ballet, Phoenix Dance and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. Terry talks about the foundation in the Yorkshire Post here.

In the North East the challenge to stimulate philanthropic giving is widely reported. Lyn and the late Trevor Shears set out to prove that wrong and in doing so, to make a difference. Their support for the arts continues to be widespread, important and vital to arts activity in the North East, not only supporting large and established venues such as The Sage Gateshead and The Baltic, but also smaller organisations such as Berwick Film & Media Festival, the Samling, Northern Stage, Live Theatre and Tyneside Cinema.

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