Close this search box.

Last chance for Manchester musicians to get £1,000 grant from Factory International

Manchester's musical heartbeat gets a boost as local talent can get their hands on for £1,000 as part of factory International's commitment to helping local artists.

Factory International, the creative force behind the Manchester International Festival and Aviva Studios, is proud to announce the resurgence of its Factory Sounds program.

The deadline is approaching for applications, so if you think you’re a good fit or could use the money to fund creative endeavours, now is the chance to do it.

Designed to bolster Manchester’s music scene, the initiative aims to support local musicians in the development of innovative projects.

What is Factory Sounds?

Factory Sounds is a music initiative by Factory International in Manchester that provides £1,000 financial support to local musicians for creating diverse projects. The program also offers peer-to-peer support, access to talent development, and networking opportunities, with a wide range of project possibilities.

The Factory Sounds program is offering financial support of £1,000 to eleven successful applicants, enabling them to bring their artistic visions to life.

Beyond monetary assistance, participants will also benefit from peer-to-peer support, access to Factory International’s talent development programs, and exclusive networking opportunities.

The scope of eligible projects is broad, with past participants establishing music management companies, financing releases, setting up recording studios, conducting production workshops, and supporting artists on tour.

Whether you’re a producer, artist, DJ, or part of a collective, embrace the chance to bring your unique project to life and be a part of Manchester’s thriving music scene.

Applications close on February 12, 2024 – don’t miss your chance to amplify your music journey!

Read on to see how you can apply.

We sat down with Rivca Burns, head of Music at Factory International to discuss how this initiative was part of their project to give back to the local community.

She said: “Factory Sounds, now in its fourth year, originated as a response to the pandemic’s challenges.

“The goal was to provide financial support, networking opportunities, and visibility to musicians across Manchester during a difficult time.”

It has gone from strength to strength, helping artists realise their ambition.

She emphasised the success of the previous three cohorts, noting their incredible feedback and achievements, including performances, signings, and DJ Lessons and other diverse projects.

The funds are directed towards the creation of new projects or the development of artists and musicians. Explaining the selection process, Rivca mentioned a panel with various industry professionals that considers criteria and evaluates the right timing and place for the musicians.

Sharing success stories, Rivca highlighted projects like the creation of a management company by Sam Malick, DJ training provided by All Hands on Deck, and Wanda’s creation of a new record leading to a signing with Heavenly Records. Other success stories included the development of the night Rojak and Loose Articles supporting the Foo Fighters and representing Manchester at South by Southwest.

“Factory Sounds offers more than just financial support; it includes mentorship and peer-to-peer networking.

“We also offer meetups, and Q&A sessions conducted as part of the cohort to guide musicians throughout their process.

“It’s a one-stop shop for advice and to pick other people’s brains from the industry.”

Ricva added that Factory International were committed to helping local musicians realise their potential.

She said: “The development of artists, both local and global, is integral to the work of Factory International. Manchester is home to a vibrant community of creative and talented musicians, and programs like Factory Sounds allow us to contribute to the growth of this dynamic scene.

“When grassroots art thrives, the whole scene thrives. This is our small effort in helping out where we can.”

Help for Manchester Musicians

Initially launched to aid musicians during the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Factory Sounds now extends its support to music producers, artists, collectives, labels, bands, DJs, and more.

Factory Sounds Beneficiaries

Previous beneficiary Meduulla shared, “Factory Sounds allowed me to reach another stage in my career as a professional musician.

“It gives the opportunity to meet people outside your usual genre, collaborate, and learn from other artists, which really helps you grow.”

Other Sounds alumni include: All Hands on Deck, Balraj Samrai, Bitez, Chris Massey, Dirty Freud, Edane Ng, Fixed Abode, Foxglove, FREEQUENCY3, Gibbon, Hur̃guf, iss3n, Jacob Connor, James Holt, Jasmin Issaka, Ku’umba, Lavender Rodriguez, Lone Taxidermist, Loose Articles, Magpahi, Mali Hayes, Maryanne Royle, Meduulla, Obeka, OneDa, PRIDO, Rohaan, SAF-S2E, Sam Malik, SHAR, Sophie Cooper, Sprechen, STNLY, Test Card Girl and Vzion.

As part of a rich programme of events across all art forms, Aviva Studios will add to the city’s thriving music scene, with a broad range of gigs, including in-house concerts and collaborations with local and national promotors.

Factory Sounds is just one way in which Factory International supports local artists, building on the organisation’s track record of commissioning artists to make new work.

Factory International provides a training ground for the next generation of creators with a focus on creating opportunities for artists from the North of England, particularly those most underrepresented in the sector.

The Factory International Fellowship

Also open for application is the Factory International Fellowship which offers six artists from the North the opportunity to shadow the creation of major new work at Aviva Studios.

As part of the Fellowship programme, successful artists will shadow the making of a Factory International commission, receive a financial bursary, and be offered a mentor tailored to their specialism and needs, developing artistic ambition and critical thinking.

If you’d like to apply, you can do so by clicking here

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.