Comma Press awarded £50k from Greater Manchester Culture Fund

Independent publisher Comma Press is one of thirty-five organisations who will receive grants from the Greater Manchester Culture Fund, set up by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to support arts and creativity throughout the city-region.

For the first time, two literature organisations – Comma Press and Manchester Literature Festival – will join museums, heritage, theatre, film, dance, music, and visual arts organisations in receiving grants from the Culture Fund, demonstrating the city’s ongoing commitment to developing, attracting and retaining the very best writing and publishing talent.

Comma Press has been awarded £50k to expand their writer development programme in Greater Manchester and deliver a new suite of literary translation workshops for both adults and young people. The grant will also support Comma’s existing programme of industry events, promoting careers in publishing and providing training opportunities for emerging talent across the North of England.

Ra Page, Publisher at Comma Press, said: 'Nothing is more important in good writing than “the local”, making it resonate first and foremost in the setting it takes place in. For Comma, the local has never been more important, and this grant allows us to go back to our grassroots – after many years of focussing on international literature – to give writers, readers, translators and aspiring publishers from Greater Manchester a chance to have their voices heard.'

Manchester Literature Festival will use their £80k investment to support the expansion of their education work with children and families into more socially deprived areas of Greater Manchester.

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said: “It feels like we have the best of both worlds here in Greater Manchester: a whole catalogue of internationally renowned artists and creatives, and a vibrant cultural scene right at the heart of our local communities. We want to this to be the best place to grow up, get on and grow old, and that means supporting the institutions and groups that enrich our places and create new opportunities in our vibrant, diverse economy. This portfolio properly recognises culture’s role in creating lively, liveable places and thriving communities.”

In 2017, Manchester joined UNESCO's worldwide Creative Cities network as a City of Literature.

Article in The Bookseller.