Development Grants

About the Grants

Hope Mill Theatre, in collaboration with Superbia (Manchester Pride’s year-round calendar of cultural events), is proud to announce the launch of the second annual TURN ON FEST, a queer arts festival exploring themes of gender, sexuality and identity within the Greater Manchester sphere.

We are looking to support four Manchester-based LGBTQIA+ identifying artists and performers to work with us and further develop an existing, or early stages, piece of work to perform at TURN ON FEST in January 2021.

Hope Mill will offer performance space, rehearsal space, mentorship from industry professionals, full marketing and promotional support and a £1000 funding contribution towards costs.

There will also be the opportunity to have your live performance streamed to nation-wide audiences.

We are eager to hear from artists seeking to explore or create digital work; although it is not mandatory for your work to adapt to a digital offering, in light of the COVID crisis there is likely to be the requirement for digitally adaptable performances or digitally rooted pieces. Artists working in any media, and across any discipline, will be considered, including but not limited to: poetry, music, dance, theatre, film and other visual arts.

Ultimately, TURN ON FEST is an opportunity for artists to grow and elevate LGBTQIA+ experiences.

TURN ON FEST is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and accessible environment. We particularly encourage development grant applications from those underrepresented across the arts industry, including artists of colour and disabled artists. If you have any access requirements or support needed, or any further queries, please feel free to get in touch.



  1. The seating arrangement is end-on with a socially distant reduced capacity of 70.
  2. The theatre has a concrete floor, with a black dance floor available.
  3. The venue is accessible.
  4. Each act will need to exceed 30 minutes but be no longer than one hour.


Key Dates

Applications open October 27th, 2020.

Applications close (EXTENDED) November 16th, 2020.

Commission performance dates will run from January 18th to January 31st, 2021.


To apply

To apply, please either send over a short document or video outlining:

  1. a bit about yourself and your creative practice
  2. the working title
  3. description of work
  4. any further support you would like to receive during this process.

Aside from being based in Greater Manchester, there are no specific criteria to meet in order to apply.

We will then shortlist applications for a short interview, conducted via Zoom. We will follow up with all candidates who apply.

Please send your document and/or video to with the subject line: ‘DEVELOPMENT GRANT APPLICATION’



If you have any questions or would like more information before beginning your application, feel free to get in touch with our team:

Hannah Ellis Ryan