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Manchester Central opens applications for incubator programme

by Joe Gallop

Manchester Central has opened its incubator programme for submissions and said it will offer a support package worth over £10,000 for successful applicants.

The venue’s ‘Incubator by Manchester Central’ programme will allow organisations and businesses of all sizes and sectors to submit plans to bring a new event concept to life. The deadline for stage one submissions is 14 April.

A panel will shortlist the submissions and support packages will be agreed with the successful applicants, which the venue expects to be worth tens of thousands. Manchester Central said the Ideas must be “completely new and unique”, with the ability to scale up in future years.

The venue said it will tailor the offer of support according to the concept submitted by the successful applicant to ensure it is fit for purpose. It said this could include event design and logistical expertise, technical production and staging, marketing and communications support, as well as use of its venue spaces to bring the event to life.

The scheme is believed to be the first incubator programme of its kind for the sector and will see at least one new event added to the venue’s calendar this year.

Shaun Hinds, CEO of Manchester Central, said: “Working in the events industry is incredibly rewarding and we’re keen to inject that buzz back once again after a challenging period through the pandemic.

“Hosting events like never before is an exciting concept and by launching this programme, we hope we will uncover bold, creative and stand-out events of the future which will shape and innovate the sector for future generations.

“Perhaps they will involve speeches by hologram from global business leaders, maybe it will be a sporting event like no other; or something completely novel to bring the nation together again.

“We want to hear from organisations pushing the envelope when it comes to connecting people through a meaningful event experience. In return, we’ll invest time, energy, expertise and support worth tens of thousands; including the use of our world-renowned venue itself. We’re looking to embark on exciting, new joint venture opportunities through successful collaborative partnerships.” 

Hinds added: “The events sector has seen a strong start to 2022, demonstrating a real appetite for people coming together for live events like never before. Now we want to take it a step further in order to really push the boundaries of what the next innovations for hosting large scale events could look like. It’s the perfect time to be looking forward with certainty and creativity.”

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