Research & Development


Integrated into our programme is a specific piece of research examining what we believe is a gap in provision for new writing in Greater Manchester.

The research will test our belief that another form of venue/shared resources needs to be found that enables the performance of new work to be mounted with possibly higher production values than is normal at fringe/small scale venues but without the significant financial risk that necessarily impacts on work staged in more mainstream venues.

The work is a research and development project seeking to demonstrate the basic premise, as a precursor to actively securing funds.  We aim to translate this premise into an operational venue/platforms for new work.


We have appointed Arthur Stafford to design, implement and report-back on a programme of investigation essentially responding to three simple questions:

  1. Is there a gap and is it impacting on the provision of new written work?
  2. If there is a gap, what form of mechanisms need to be considered and are they sustainable?
  3. Could we attract audiences?

From the outset, Arthur is really interested in getting views from within, and without, the Greater Manchester area to answer a basic question; "is there a need for a new form of venue/platforms for new work in Greater Manchester?"


A methodology has been devised based on consulting with the principal parties during the period July to September 2015:

  • Writers
  • Theatre companies
  • Producers
  • Theatre venues
  • Stakeholders (funders, potential commercial partners, Equity and Writers Guild Great Britain)
  • People and organisations outside of Greater Manchester to get a sense of ‘the voice from the outside’ and see if there are lessons we can learn elsewhere (Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool and London)

To date, Arthur has been in touch with in excess of 60 individuals and organisations across the 6-areas described above with a further 15-20 interviews planned over the late August / early September 2015.

Get Involved

There is still time to be engaged in this vital programme of research and Arthur welcomes any approaches direct to him at

An session will be programmed during the Event (September 24-26) disseminating and discussing the findings of Arthur’s work with further details available shortly.