‘Packing a local punch’: Manchester International Festival supplies £39m to city

Manchester International Festival (MIF) had it’s most successful year in 2015 by contributing £38.8million to the city’s economy, according to an independent study.

The biennial festival, which showcases original new art of all forms, has seen a five per cent increase in attendance since 2013, housing almost 260,000 visitors over the 17 day event.

This evaluation has come from an independent study by Morris Hargreaves McIntyre who conducted an online survey of ticket buyers, 92% of whom rated the performances as excellent or very good.

Leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, said: “This year once again MIF has managed to deliver a festival that not only packs a punch locally, but through its co-commissioning approach, is also successful taking the Manchester brand around the world.”

As well as bringing a huge arts scene to Manchester, the festival’s ticketing process is inclusive and they offer 10% of tickets at a discount for Greater Manchester residents on low incomes.

This year, Warehouse Project, another pillar of Manchester’s arts scene, held a 12-hour party at the festival.

The research details how the festival has acquired a significant amount of private financial support from corporate sponsors in addition to Arts Council England’s extra support.

Sir Leese said: “The importance of culture and the arts to Manchester’s growing reputation on the world’s stage can’t be overstated and Manchester International Festival has, since the very first Festival back in 2007, played an enormous part in this.

The 2015 event was made up of 230 programmed performances, coordinated by 436 volunteers

From this autumn, the festival will be taken over by a new artistic director, John McGrath, who will play a key role in developing the festival further over the next few years.

Mr McGrath said: “Both the quantity and consistency of support for the Festival from the Manchester community, from audiences and volunteers to local business and the council, is hugely impressive especially considering the current tough economic landscape.

“I’m excited to now be a part of the team and help build on the success of this thrillingly unique festival.”

Image courtesy of Andy Miah, with thanks.

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