MIF raises £2.2m from corporate sponsors

THE organisers of the Manchester International Festival say they have so far raised £2.2m from commercial sponsors.

Soap maker PZ Cussons, Manchester Airport Group and property company Bruntwood are all backing the event as official sponsors. It has also won the support of the Co-operative Group, car parks company NCP, and hotelier City Inn.

The arts festival, held every two years, showcases a series of premieres and has helped to put the city on the cultural map.  Next year it will take place from June 30 to July 17.

It receives some funding from Manchester City Council, Arts Council England and Salford City Council but needs cash from other sources to cover its budget.

Last year’s event cost £9.3m to stage. It pulled in funding of £9.5m with £2.2m coming from the city council, £1.6m from other public bodies, £2.9m from sponsorship, £1.5m from ticket sales and £1.3m from other sources.

Festival director Alex Poots said: “It’s hugely heartening to have secured this level of sponsorship from such a diverse range of companies, particularly at such a challenging time for business and the cultural industries.

“We have formed strong relationships across the region and beyond and we are very grateful for the support of these forward-thinking companies, both new and returning. This outstanding level of private sponsorship is made possible by building on the bedrock of support from our public sector funders.”

The 2011 festival will see the launch of the MIF Pioneer scheme, allowing individuals to support the work of the festival for the first time with gifts of £1,000 or £2,000.

The first three festival commissions for next year’s event include a new theatre piece written and directed by Victoria Wood, The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic, and a collaboration with Manchester’s own Hallé Orchestra.

The event is also supported by: Law firms Cobbetts and Addleshaw Goddard; developers Argent, Nikal, Bluemantle and the Eric Wright Group; architects BDP and Stephenson Bell; manufacturers SPX and Brother UK; engineers Arup, Buro Happold and Siemens; and property manager Frogmore Northern.

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