Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester - Major Event Funding Model (Part A)

Report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) attached


The Executive considered a report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods), which sought approval for the formation of an Event Commission, which was set out as part of the Manchester Events Strategy that was adopted in 2019.


The Leader reported that the Strategy set out a vision ‘To be an Eventful City’ with a focus on developing a diverse, balanced and benefits-driven events portfolio driven by partnerships. The Events Strategy identified how the Council would re-purpose its funding to support Events and Festivals, differentiating its investment between events that were aimed principally at supporting community cohesion and animating the city and events aimed at generating significant economic value and profile for the City.


To align Manchester with global best practice in city events planning and strategy, the Manchester Events Strategy identified how the city could establish a collaborative partnership mechanism around events (an Events Commission). This would provide a strengthened platform on which the Council could develop its long term strategic planning and leverage increased resources for events that would enable accelerated investment to secure, acquire and develop signature sporting and cultural events of national and international significance.


The Council had been in discussions with Greater Manchester partners, the A-BID, CityCo and Marketing Manchester about the formation of an Events Commission for the City.  The approach being developed would strengthen collaboration between the public and private sector partners in Manchester and provide a viable mechanism for acquiring, investing, developing and leveraging major events to Manchester from 2024 onward.


The Council currently invested £2.55m per annum from the core mainstream budget to support the baseline annual programme of events, in addition a significant number of other events had been funded on either a rolling basis, as one off opportunities or on a more ad hoc basis.  In line with the Event Strategy, it was advised that the Council should differentiate the c.£1.4m budget for small scale, community and civic events and the festive programme. It was proposed that work was undertaken to seek to increase the gross budget from community events through realising new income opportunities from commercial event activities.  Separately, it was proposed that existing Council investments which were currently made into Sports Events bidding, Conferencing and Festivals – along with an initial support staff resource - were deployed as part of the Event Commission (circa £1.15m pa). Additional annual funding of £2m deployed from the growth in business rates income was proposed as an increased contribution towards the Event Commission. This would be included as a commitment against the Capital Fund, and the necessary approvals for this budget increase woudl be sought as part of the overall 2024/25 Council budget approvals


The Event Commission would seek to grow the core funding for major events by between £4.35m - £4.85m pa to provide a ‘core’ seed funding pot of £5.5m - £6.0m per annum – with the capability to roll-forward underspends in any year to meet event opportunities in future years.  Conversations had been held with other public funding bodies regarding them contributing to the Events Commission model for 2024 onward. These conversations had been positive, and officers would further these discussions once the Council had made a commitment to establish an Event Commission.  It was anticipated that this would further increase the investment capability of the Events Commission by c.£1m-£2m per annum.




The Executive:-


(1)      Note and endorse the intent to form an Event Commission for the City in order to secure major events in Manchester and to bring in contributions from key partners.


(2)      Request that the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods and the City Solicitor complete the Terms of Reference and governance arrangements for the proposed Event Commission in consultation with key funding partners.


(3)      Note the proposed budget requirement that will be considered as part of the overall 2024/25 budget options.


(4)      Delegate responsibility to the Chief Executive, the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer and the City Solicitor in consultation with the Leader of the Council to agree and secure major events through the Event Commission model.


(5)      Endorse the establishment of a project team with the Strategic Director of Neighbourhoods as SRO to develop the next phase of the creation of the Event Commission with the key strategic partners and manage the process through the Event Commission for ongoing review and approval.

Supporting documents: