ARTS, culture and heritage in the borough and the nine other authorities in Greater Manchester has been given a £1.5 million funding boost.

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority will receive the money from Arts Council England’s and Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Place scheme.

The National Lottery funded scheme is supporting towns, cities and rural areas across England to put culture at the heart of their residents’ future prosperity and wellbeing.

GMCA will use the £1.5 million – the maximum permitted under the scheme – to deliver a three-year programme of activity called Stronger Together: A Culturally Diverse and Democratic City Region Without Borders.

While Greater Manchester as a whole enjoys a high quality provision of arts, culture and heritage, this investment will support GMCA to maximise the benefits of its devolution deal to achieve a more balanced distribution of this provision across all boroughs.

One of the ways GMCA will do this is by supporting residents to explore Greater Manchester’s rich history, working with the many arts and heritage organisations in the city region to create high quality, locally relevant work in a bid to increase engagement with culture.

With the project partnership led by Wigan Council, activities will include consultation with residents to get a greater understanding of cultural provision and ambition.

New ideas will be explored such as the development of a cultural route planner to help residents find the best mode of transport to explore arts and heritage assets and providing business support to local authorities and artists to develop new uses for historic buildings.

The funding will support three new appointments to help deliver the activities, a project manager; a culture and health leader and a creative education leader.

Greater Manchester is one of 16 places across England to receive a grant from the Great Place scheme, a £20 million initiative inspired by the Government’s Culture White Paper.

Cllr Alex Ganotis, GMCA's lead member for culture, arts and leisure said: “I am delighted that Greater Manchester has been selected as one of the national Great Place pilots.

"Arts, culture and heritage are part of the DNA of Greater Manchester and this funding will ensure they are part of our future story.

“We want to maximise the impact of our rich arts, culture and heritage offer across the whole city region.

"With so many fantastic museums, galleries, facilities and historic sites across our city region we are brilliantly suited to the task.

“This award will allow us to work with arts, culture and heritage organisations to benefit individuals and communities in each of our towns and cities.

"We are going to demonstrate that, through intelligent and collaborative working, culture creates real economic and social benefit for our whole city region.”

Nathan Lee, head of Heritage Lottery Fund North West, said: “Greater Manchester is a vibrant beating heart of the north, a place of great cultural diversity and community pride.

"With the first mayoral election just around the corner this National Lottery investment promises to build on that legacy at a time of change.

"By strengthening networks and creating partnerships this exciting project aims to support a sustainable future for arts, culture and heritage while promoting the health and wellbeing agenda for people and communities across all 10 boroughs of the city.”