Agenda item

Agenda item

Manchester City Galleries report and revenue budget 2019/20

The report of the Director of Manchester City Galleries and the City Treasurer is enclosed.


The Committee considered a joint report of the Director of Manchester City Galleries and the City Treasurer which set out performance of City Galleries over the course of 2018/19. It also outlined budget and future delivery proposals for 2019/20 within the context of the City Galleries Strategic Plan. The Committee was invited to approve the draft budget and recommend it for Executive approval as part of the Council’s wider budget setting process.


The Director of Manchester City Galleries introduced the report setting out the broad offer of the City Galleries function, its contribution to the city’s wider strategic objectives and proposals to enhance the offer in a way that is driven by the needs of the people of the city, represents a tool for social change and makes a contribution which is above and beyond the culture sector.  This work would be underpinned through the achievement of the following objectives:


·         Delivering social impact and societal health by developing a holistic and purposeful artistic programme of art and education

·         Good Housekeeping, good economics and how to make the best of resources

·         Delivery of the Art School for Life programme to campaign for the role of art and artists in broader society through a full spectrum approach

·         Establishing a Civic Think Tank to create and convene a space for voices across the city that nurtures diversity and values nuance and complexity across all constituencies over a range of artistic and social programmes


The Committee welcomed the achievements to date, noting that 2018/19 had seen the highest footfall with mixed audiences from across the city.  Members particularly welcomed activities that had been undertaken to strengthen engagement by widening participation through outreach programmes to help to break down the barriers. There was particular welcome for the outreach activity around schools which, through enabling children to tap into their cultural heritage, had helped to connect with harder to reach communities and had had a positive knock on effect on cultural visits to the city centre.  Members were mindful of the positive correlation between cultural engagement and educational attainment. It was explained that further targeted work was underway to tackle low levels of engagement with under-represented wards and / or communities.  Discussions also turned to how levels of engagement were analysed across the city.  It was explained that work was underway to gather city-wide data on the social impact of interventions to develop a robust evidence base.


There was a discussion about the significance of the Manchester Together Archive and how, despite sitting outside of the core function of galleries, the memorial material had become a profoundly important aspect and celebration of the city galleries civic role.  It was also suggested that the collection could be used as a tool to educate and change lives as part of the social change agenda.




1.            To approve draft gross budget for 2019/20 of £3.562m, with cash limit budget contribution from Manchester City Council of £2.186m.


2.            To recommend the budget to Executive for approval as part of the Council’s budget setting process.


3.            To delegate authority to approve and adopt a new Loans Policy and Collection Development Policy to the Director of Manchester Art Gallery, in consultation with the Executive Member for Schools, Culture & Leisure, so as not to delay the adoption of the policy until the committee’s meeting in 2020.


4.            To delegate authority to Director of Manchester Art Gallery, in consultation with the Executive Member for Schools, Culture & Leisure, to approve disposals in accordance with the Disposals Policy and Procedures approved at the Art Galleries Committee meeting in 2012 (Minute AG/12/02).



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