Community Arts North West (CAN) is confirmed as an Arts Council England NPO for 2023 – 2026

It was announced today that CAN will continue as part of Arts Council England’s national portfolio of regularly funded organisations

2 November 2022

We are proud to take our place amongst thousands of arts and culture organisations that will realise the objectives of Arts Council England’s (ACE) Let’s Create strategy (2020 – 2030).

ACE’s continuing investment in Community Arts North West (CAN) comes at an unprecedented time; the impacts of the Covid pandemic, the cost-of-living crisis, and the financial climate.

This NPO round was ACE’s most over-subscribed to date. CAN is very grateful to ACE for their continuing investment in our work.

ACE’s investment will support our influential work at the cutting edge of intercultural arts practice with Greater Manchester’s communities.

Since our launch in 1978, CAN has worked with people at the sharp end of poverty and oppression.

CAN believe everyone is creative and that all communities should be able to access exciting and high-quality creative opportunities: as audiences, people taking part, and artists.

In the 44 years since our foundation, we are proud to work shoulder to shoulder with communities in parts of Manchester and boroughs of Greater Manchester traditionally excluded from cultural opportunities.

CAN’s creative work has always been a place for people to explore the issues that matter to them.

Our programmes explore some of the most significant issues of our time, including the climate emergency, to amplify the voices of people most affected yet most marginalised.

As a long-established specialist in working with children and young people from diverse communities, many of whom face challenges such as forced migration, poverty and mental health difficulties, CAN’s Children and Young People programme will develop a new generation of confident and creative young people and leaders.

As one of the organisations that first received funding in the early 2000s to support innovative work with refugee communities, our Exodus programme will build on its significant success to develop opportunities for employment and training, grow creative commissions, and flagship events.

Our work will continue to support people from marginalised communities, including those from refugee and new migrant heritage backgrounds, to develop careers as artists and cultural and community leaders.

Audience Agency research published in November 2022 indicates that three-quarters of the UK population predict they will have less to spend on arts and culture.

Many of the people we work with experience poverty.  CAN will continue to ensure our participatory programmes are free and that we offer support including travel subsidies so that our projects are always accessible, and inclusive.

Thanks to our team, board, artists, volunteers, audiences, young people, communities, and partners who have been part of our pioneering work since 1978 and the support of other funders, in particular Manchester City Council, trusts and foundations, lottery funders, and individual supporters.




CAN is supported by