Manchester Pride is a charity which campaigns for equality; challenges discrimination; creates opportunity for engagement and participation; celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life; and fundraises to enrich and empower LGBT organisations, charities and communities in Greater Manchester.
The charity delivers an annual programme of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) events in Greater Manchester. This includes the Manchester Pride Spring Benefit, events recognising International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), our annual programme of culture, Superbia and our flagship event, The Manchester Pride Festival.
As a grant-giving charity, Manchester Pride creates fundraising opportunities through these events, and has raised over £1 million since achieving charity status in 2006. In 2016 Manchester Pride distributed 46 grants to LGBT community groups, organisations, events and initiatives in Greater Manchester including The George House Trust Welfare Fund, Queer Media Festival, LGBT Foundation, Black Gold Arts Festival, Trafford Carers Service, Village Manchester Football F.C.,Mancunian Way, Biphoria, plus many more.
Manchester Pride employs a small team to deliver the charity's objectives to campaign for LGBT equality and challenge discrimination, create opportunities for engagement and participation and celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) life.
This team is led by a Chief Executive Officer and includes two Events Managers, a Marketing Assistant and Team Assistant. In 2016 the team was supported by a number of freelance staff including a part time Finance Manager and five temporary, part time, Project Managers.
A dedicated network of volunteers support the operational team behind Manchester Pride to help us deliver our charitable and community objectives throughout the year. Volunteers are at the heart of everything we do and the team is further supported by a number of non-executive directors and trustees who govern and steer the organisation on a voluntary basis.
Manchester Pride is represented by a number of patrons from the world of politics, film, television, music and literature. Patrons of Manchester Pride carry our messages for LGBT equality around the globe, championing Manchester Pride, the work we do, the achievements we’ve made and our ongoing campaigns for LGBT people, here in Greater Manchester and around the world.
The support we receive from our friends and allies, from people like you, has helped us deliver another year of incredible fundraising events. Take a look back at some of the highlights from our flagship event, The Manchester Pride Festival.
Review From The CEO
2016 has been a formidable year for Manchester Pride. We have received a huge amount of support from friends, allies and supporters of LGBT people which has enabled us to experience increased levels of engagement with LGBT people who were not previously in touch with the activities of Manchester Pride.
It was always going to be challenge to follow on from the huge success story of the charity's performance in 2015. We’re proud to have risen to the challenge and sustained another successful year of commercial growth. Our continued thanks is conveyed to each of our sponsors and supporters, special thanks this year are given to Manchester Airport Group and Thomas Cook Airlines who jointly sponsored The Big Weekend.
Through closely following our commercial strategy, once again we over performed in the majority of our income revenue streams.
The year began with our series of listening groups at which we harvest the thoughts, ideas and feedback of anybody who has an interest in the activities of Manchester Pride. This forum encourages lively participation and enables us to review any areas for improvement for our events and the activities of the charity.
In response to feedback received, we undertook a review of the best ways for us to increase individual participation and enhance the artistic quality of The Parade. We submitted an application to Arts Council England and were successfully awarded a grant for the arts that enabled us to achieve our aims with The Parade. The grant was used to deliver a series of workshops delivered in conjunction with a creative production organisation, Walk The Plank.
The outcomes resulted in our creation of a Manchester Pride parade entry which was open for individuals to march with us. The project induced a series of skills, production and movement workshops for local residents to take part in. The workshops proved popular with individuals and business organisations.
Our first artist announcement for The Big Weekend was made back in January; A UK pride exclusive performance from Will Young. The critically acclaimed performance proved to be a huge hit. To the delight of many fans in attendance, Will decided to head off stage and finished his appearance amongst the audience.
This year The Manchester Pride Spring Benefit took place at the imposing Victoria Warehouse Hotel on the outskirts of Trafford Park. The benefit has established itself as a key event for those looking to add a little glamour to their fund-raising efforts. The evening was a great success for Manchester Pride, all funds raised were attributed directly to the Manchester Pride Community Fund and helped us to reach the fundraising total that we have achieved.
The OUT! project, which was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund continued throughout the year providing opportunities, for interested individuals to receive free training in researching archives and recording and preserving oral histories. The project has been a resounding success and has achieved a number of positive outcomes. The legacy of the project, namely the website outmanchester.org will be maintained and continually developed by Manchester Pride.
Throughout the year the superbia.org calendar was populated with a plethora of LGBT relevant events and community activities. We were really pleased to be able to showcase a variety of events that you can expect from Superbia at The Superbia Weekend which, with thanks to Manchester Metropolitan University, was held at the same time as The Big Weekend in the brilliant 70 Oxford Street.
The Superbia Weekend offered an alternative to the hustle and bustle of The Big Weekend, providing an alcohol free space for people to gather and enjoy film screenings, debates and performances from some of the finest offerings of Queer Manchester. We’re very proud of this exciting new addition to The festival.
A number of trailblazer fundraising events took place on the run up to The Manchester Pride Festival in August, including the return of the much loved Tram Trax event which saw 80 revellers on a tram from Chorlton to Manchester Airport and back with live performances and a disco on the return leg of the journey. One lucky ticket holder won a weekend trip to Boston, flying out the very next day!
The cast of Coronation Street once again showed their support of Manchester Pride by hosting two events to raise money for The Manchester Pride Community Fund this year; “The Big Corrie Quiz” took place at Blackdog Ballroom NQ and “Corrie Goes Bowling” saw teams lead by cast members take on the ten pins at Black Dog Bowl.
The Manchester Pride Festival successfully brought tens of thousands of people together to celebrate LGBT life in Manchester.
We were very proud and fortunate this year to have Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor, Carl Austin-Behan as the Grand Marshall leading The Manchester Pride Parade through the streets of the City Centre to one of the largest and most supportive audiences we have experienced.
The entrainment line up at The Big Weekend was remarked upon as one of the most credible yet. Highly talented perfomers including Katy B, Fleur East , Heather Small and Sophie Ellis Bexter appeared alongside modern day gay icons MNEK, Shura and Danny Beard in what was unquestionably one of the highest attended events we have ever staged.
The DJ line up that played at what is known as one of the most popular dance based warehouse style parties in Manchester; The Dance Arena, provided another first class array of talent including Groove Armada, Honey Sound System, DJ Paulette, David Dunne , Judge Jules and new york based trans DJ Honey Dijon. The area has proved to be on the most popular event spaces at The Big Weekend.
As we neared the end of the celebrations, the heart of the festival came to light at The Candlelit Vigil. This year we worked alongside our charity partner George House Trust to deliver a stunning Vigil which brought us together to remember those lost to and living with HIV and also provided a time and space to stand united to recognise other life threatening issues and challenges that face LGBT people here in Manchester and those living less privileged lives around the world. The one minute of applause introduced by our host Kate O’Donnell set the tone for what was an uplifting end to the festival with a performance of Nessun dorma by Ruby Murray as the skies above were lit up by stunning firework display.
One planned initiative we didn’t manage to launch in 2016 was The Queer Up North Legacy award. The framework, strategy and process behind this is currently under review and will be announced in early 2017.
The team and I work throughout the year to deliver a calendar of first class events and activities that enable us to achieve our aims and constantly raise funds for the Manchester Pride Community Fund. We are always open to suggestions and I would encourage anybody interested in the organisation to come along to our next listening group, or get in touch with us through our website.
I’d like to say a huge “Thank-You” to all of our supporters. Manchester Pride continues to celebrate, campaign and create opportunities for engagement for our LGBT communities in this brilliant city and we couldn’t do this without you!
“Harry Derbridge: Manchester Pride has changed my life!! Best weekend ever @manchesterpride.”
Listening Groups provide a voice for our LGBT communities to share ideas and help us shape the future of Manchester Pride. It’s where talk turns to action. This year, common themes from Listening Groups included events for families and more free to attend events. As a result we extended our cultural programme, Suburbia, to run simultaneously with The Big Weekend; was free to attend and programmed with families in mind and included arts and crafts activities, live music, short films and cabaret. Improving the experiences of disabled visitors attending The Big Weekend was also a topic for discussion and as a result we consulted with Attitude is Everything to provide us with guidance for enhancing the enjoyment of our disabled visitors, including relocating the Main Stage Accessible Viewing Platform and increasing its size for the enjoyment and comfort of our disabled visitors.
The Manchester Pride Community Parade Entry
In 2016 we were fortunate to receive a grant from Arts Council England to create our very own entry to lead The Manchester Pride Parade. As such we wanted the community to decide what the Parade entry should look like. Consultations and workshops were held in the run up to The Big Weekend and we received 96 applications to join our Parade Troop. Workshops included choreography classes and costume making workshops. Over 100 people were involved in turning the Manchester Pride Parade entry in to a reality and many proudly took to the streets of Manchester on Parade day to show off their spectacular work to tens of thousands of spectators. The workshops provided an opportunity for people to learn new skills whist working alongside professional artists.
Volunteers are at the very heart of Manchester Pride. Our Board of Trustees are all volunteers and in 2016 we received 269 applications to join our volunteer programme. Proudly known as Pride Stars, our volunteers help us throughout the year in all aspects of delivery. From fundraising at events such as The Great Manchester Run, to assisting with community and cultural events as part of Superbia and The Big Weekend, volunteers provide vital support to the operational team at Manchester Pride. Our Pride Stars come from all backgrounds, bringing together a rich and diverse pool of talent, skills, knowledge, and experience that enhances the work we do. Our Pride Stars are essential to everything we do!
Events & Initiatives
“The sense of pride I feel when I pull on my Manchester Pride volunteer T-shirt almost brings me to tears. I love being able to give back to my community and the team at Manchester Pride really value their volunteers, each and every one of us!”
Tony Chen - Pride Star
Facts About Manchester Pride
Pride Stars and Community Volunteers trained in basic First Aid
people participated in the 2016 Parade
events supported through Superbia with funding and/or marketing support from Manchester Pride
funding grants distributed to organisations in 2016
acts performed across The Big Weekend 2016
Volunteer hours were dedicated by our Pride Stars
impressions on Facebook, engaging 7 million users.
people tuned in to watch The Candlelit Vigil on Facebook live
visitor interactions at The Big Weekend Gates
news articles around the world
free to attend events took place as a part of The Superbia Weekend
interesting facts, stories, images and histories uncovered and highlighted by our heritage Lottery funded project OUT!
This survey was taken from a sample of 560 people
Total amount raised
Once again, the LGBT Foundation threw open their doors over The Big Weekend offering visitors a place to refresh, recharge and reconnect through a number of community activities and initiatives including a community cafe, a buddying up service as well as health and wellbeing sessions and Young People and Family Space.
George House Trust
Manchester Pride worked closely with George House Trust in the presentation of the Candlelit Vigil at the close of The Big Weekend. Sackville Gardens was once again transformed into a scene of floating candles as visitors took time to remember those lost to and living with HIV to show solidarity and commitment to combating stigma and the spread of the epidemic.
Our Patrons and Ambassadors
“The reminders of our past, the celebration of our achievements and the hope for our future all wrapped up in 1 event. All you have to do is look around at how everyone interacts and how the businesses operate and you get such a sense of community in the air. I've been to many different prides over the last 10 years or so including some of those in Europe and I would gladly place Manchester Pride up there amongst the best.”
Scott Sammons, The Gay UK
A Special Thank You
2016 has been an exhilarating but also emotional year for me and perhaps also for Manchester Pride!
2016 has seen Manchester Pride build on the growth in community engagement and fundraising activity from 2015. The Manchester Pride Spring Benefit which is now a fixture in the calendar of annual red-carpet events was held at the Victoria Hall. It was a sparkling evening with everyone decked-out in their finery. There were stunning musical performances from Rebecca Ferguson, Lucy Spraggan and Dean Mac. The event was a sell-out with many must-have items in the auction getting people very excited!
The Superbia Calendar of events developed further in 2016 and came to a stunning climax during the course of the Big Weekend where Manchester Pride hosted its first ever Superbia Weekend. Through the kind cooperation of Manchester University, we took over the site of the former Cornerhouse at 70 Oxford Road and were able to offer visitors to the City a dry, family-friendly venue hosting a wide range of events from talks about Islam and Sexuality, a stand-up comedy night, cabaret evening, film screenings and arts and craft events
Most events were free to attend and the Superbia Weekend gained a lot of positive feedback especially from people who might not normally attend The Big Weekend.
I would like to thank everyone who has been involved with Superbia this year, from those who put on their own events; to those who have benefitted from grants in order to host events and especially to everyone who attended and supported the events.
The Big Weekend itself kicked off with the world-famous Manchester Pride Parade fronted this year by Manchester’s first openly gay Lord Mayor Carl Austin-Behan. He caused quite a stir in his especially commissioned pink Mayoral robes!
The Big Weekend itself was abuzz with activity this year with something going on all over the event site. We were treated to a feast of music on the Main Stage from Katy B, Will Young, Heather Small, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Fleur East. The Sackville Boutique Stage brought us a wide variety of entertainment from the Heather Peace Presents stage, the Manbears Picnic, Sparkle, Sounds of our Village and Proms In The Park. The Dance Arena played host to a world-class range of DJs from Groove Armada, Judge Jules and Honey Soundsystem.
2016 is a bittersweet year for me as my term as Trustee comes to an end in December after 8 years as a trustee and 6 as Chair. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve this charity and to see it develop and engage with more people. I have met and worked with the most amazing people during my time on the board and I look forward to seeing you all again at future events.
A huge and heartfelt thank you goes to each of you who has helped support Manchester Pride this year by attending our events, purchasing a Pledge Band, making a donation or by fundraising for us. Your continuing support makes a positive impact on Greater Manchester’s LGBT community.
My personal thanks also go to the businesses in The Village who contribute to making The Big Weekend a huge success; who demonstrate their commitment by proudly flying the flag in support of The Big Weekend and for fundraising for us throughout the year.
Most importantly, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the Operations team, I would like to thank each of our dedicated volunteers who give their time freely throughout the year, whether assisting in the office; welcoming visitors to our events or running about over the Big Weekend helping out in a thousand different ways. We really couldn’t do it without you!
Chair of Manchester Pride