ANNUAL REVIEW 2017 READ MORE
Message from Mark Fletcher, CEO
As I take a look back at 2017, I’m filled with love and warmth for the people of Greater Manchester and the thousands of visitors that come along to join in our annual celebration of LGBT+ life at The Manchester Pride Festival. It’s been a tough year for Manchester and I feel proud and humbled to have seen and felt the Mancunian Spirit.
I’d like to start by saying a huge thanks to everybody who has supported the charity in helping to strengthen our wonderful city and provide a display of unity to the rest of the world.
2017 was the third year in a strategy designed to elevate Manchester Pride to a position of strength, increasing the reach and impact of our work.
I’m pleased to report that the charity has grown to become one of the largest LGBT+ charities in the UK, making an incredible impact on the lives of LGBT+ people and our allies in Greater Manchester and elsewhere.
In 2017 the charity interacted with over 843,000 people throughout the UK. We pledged 27 grants to LGBT groups, charities and events in Greater Manchester and educated over 46 million people about our campaign for LGBT equality.
Financially it was a successful year for the charity. The outcomes included over performance against planned targets in the majority of revenue income streams. We also experienced an increase in expenditure in order to deliver a series of successful, safe events, activities and initiatives in achieving your objectives.
I’m pleased to announce that we will be pledging a new record amount of funds to support LGBT+ causes in Greater Manchester!
Our first event of the year saw our team head out for the Queer Contact Youth Conference where we spoke to some of our younger audience to gain essential feedback on what they would like to see from Manchester Pride in the future.
To commemorate IDAHOBIT (International day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia), we launched a new fundraising initiative; The 10 Peaks Challenge. The challenge was proven not to be for the faint-hearted. Our challengers battled the elements to tackle some of the trickiest peaks in The Lake District whilst raising money for The Manchester Pride Fund.
The annual Manchester Pride Spring Benefit took place in May at the iconic Midland Hotel. The event, supported by Rolls Royce, was a huge success. Hats off to the Liberty X girls for a stunning performance which had the majority of guests singing along to a string of chart-topping hits from the noughties.
Every penny of the c.£22,000 raised from the evening went directly to the Manchester Pride Fund. Plans are already in motion for the 2018 Spring Benefit, which will once again return to our most popular venue to date.
July marked the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act which saw the partial decriminalisation of sexual acts between homosexual men. To commemorate this anniversary, we joined forces with Archives + and one of the founding members of The Mancunian Gay Collective, Paul Fairweather, to produce a special anniversary zine edition of 'The Mancunian Gay'. The original amateur magazine was in publication between 1978-1986 and was rediscovered by a member of our team in 2016 who was working on our Heritage Lottery funded project, OUT! We were pleased to host an event that looked back at this important magazine from an era equally defined by homophobia, police harassment and the AIDS crisis. We have come a long way, yet there is a long road that lies ahead.
The Manchester Pride Festival took place in August, and hundreds of thousands of people experienced the celebrations this year.
The most important element for any event that we host is always the safety of our audience. We continued to work closely with Greater Manchester Police and our security stewards to ensure that every aspect of event safety was reviewed and managed.
The Manchester Pride Parade was a sight to behold. Tens of thousands of people came out to watch and support the longest ever parade that we have held.
The Manchester Pride Community Parade entry was one of our most exciting initiatives of the year. Thanks to the support that we gained from Arts Council England, we were able to offer the opportunity for individuals to help create and then become a part of what was, in my opinion, the best parade entry the charity has ever been able to deliver.
This initiative also provided the opportunity for four budding young artists to gain mentorship and development through a scheme that has achieved great outcomes and prospects for each of them. This is just one example of the type of new opportunities that Manchester Pride is committed to exploring as we aim to ensure relevance to our communities.
We were proud to have worked with Manchester Airport and Thomas Cook Airlines once again as headline sponsors for The Big Weekend.
It was another year of stellar performances on the Thomas Cook Airlines USA Stage. Highlights included former Spice Girl Melanie C, Clean Bandit, Louisa Johnson, Example, Lisa Maffia, Starley and Gok Wan. The list goes on..… A special thanks to Take That for coming along to display their support this year and of course a personal thanks to Faithless for performing a stunning set in the Gaydio Dance Arena.
The Candlelit Vigil provided a poignant moment for us to come together and remember those lost to and living with HIV / AIDS and also the many other challenges facing LGBT people around the world. This year we reached out to our allies and invited along a parent of one of the victims of the atrocious terror attack at Manchester Arena, to say a few words. We stood together to pay respect to those who were lost and the many other others who were affected by the tragedy throughout the City, our City which promotes equality and will not tolerate hate crimes of any type.
As a leading pride organiser, we were really pleased to be in a position to provide support to a number of local pride events throughout the boroughs of Greater Manchester which took place in Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Salford, Stockport, Trafford and Wigan. We see these smaller satellite events as crucial in supporting the advancement of LGBT equality throughout the region.
Superbia is Manchester Pride's calendar of culture. The programme enables the charity to promote, curate and provide grants for events around Greater Manchester that are created for, by, with and about LGBT people.
In 2017 we were pleased to distribute 26 grants that supported events including the premiere of the much-lauded “Gypsy Queen” by Rob Ward, The Queer Media Festival and the first UK outing of the Aks International Minorities Festival. You can expect to see much more from the programme in the future.
The Superbia Weekend, which acts as a showcase for the type of events that we promote throughout the year, was a great highlight for us all in 2017. We were proud to have worked with the local community group, Rainbow Noir (a social and peer support group for people of colour who recognise as LGBTQI) in creating a diverse programme of events at 70 Oxford Street, that were all free to attend. For the first time ever, we worked with UK Black Pride and we were thrilled to have its founder and Executive Director, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah as our guest for the weekend. Special thanks to Manchester Metropolitan University for allowing us to use this incredible space which hosted short film screenings including: 'My First UK Black Pride' and 'Dad', the Superbia Cabaret featuring Travis Alabanza, and a very popular Beginners Vogue workshop.
Each Autumn we work with one of our partners, Greatdays Holidays to deliver a unique experience: Magical Pride at Disneyland Paris. This year, the weekend was truly incredible. Thanks to the support of Disney, over 400 attendees had exclusive use of the Disney Studios Park for three hours before heading inside for an exclusive pride party. This event has grown from strength to strength and we are excited to continue our work with Greatdays and Disney.
This year to commemorate World Aids Day, we planned and promoted Manchester’s first “Day Without Art” through our Superbia programme. We were proud to see 6 organisations taking part in this first for the City.
In addition to this, we were also pleased to support the re-dedication of the Beacon Of Hope which stands proudly as the first memorial in the UK in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Manchester Pride provided a grant to cover essential maintenance and lighting re-installation costs. We have also taken over the management of and refreshed its website.
As we step into 2018, there are many new events, initiatives and activities planned that will assist us with our campaign for LGBT equality. However, we enter each new year with a few blank pages, ready to take note of what you would like to see from us.
Please continue to take part in our surveys or contact us through our website if you would like to make any suggestions on how we can continue to support the LGBT+ communities of Greater Manchester.
Once more, I’d like to say thanks for your support. I’m proud to continue the important work of our charity and excited to share our progress with you.