A partnership organisation

Design Manchester is a partnership organisation. We work with local, national and international partners.

Our founding partner is Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University and we’ve worked in close partnership with Manchester City Council from the beginning.

Other premier institutional partners include the British Council, University of Salford , Arts Council England and World Design Weeks.

We welcome opportunities to build mutually beneficial relationships based on shared values with festival sponsors, programme and event partners, venue partners, media partners, tech, hospitality and service partners.

Festival sponsors make it possible for us to present a world-class programme of events with across-the-board brand alignment alongside our premier institutional partners.

Working with our programme and event partners helps to shape and expand our programme and achieve better engagement for our events with funding, expertise and in-kind support.

Our venue partners help make DM a truly city and city-region wide experience, with events at iconic locations such as the Bridgewater Hall, The Lowry, HOME, Manchester Art Gallery, the Turnpike Gallery, Northern Quarter bars and many more.

Our partners in media, technology, transport, hospitality and specialist services expand our reach and the experience for our visitors and participants.

Partnership success stories of recent years include:

The Co-op

Our collaboration with a great Manchester-born brand promoted the Co-op to design talent as it began its digital transformation.

G . F Smith

The specialist paper suppliers raised awareness of their brand and their offer in the design community.


A must-see for sportswear obsessives, the adidas SPEZIAL exhibition at DM14 featured more than 600 pairs of classic trainers and drew a huge celebrity-studded audience of fans.


Luxury goods maker Hermès launched its Hermèsmatic pop-up concept to breathe new life into vintage Hermès scarves at DM17.

Levitt Bernstein

Routledge and Levitt Bernstein attracted a full house of architects and designers to the launch of the new Housing Design Handbook at DM18.

To find out more about partnering with us, contact Kasper de Graaf by email.