How do we do it? Good question, and one without a single answer – every project starts with a blank slate.
From city-wide events to closing ceremonies, parades to community celebrations, everything we make is built on conversation, collaboration and a little bit of magic.
How We Do It
There’s nothing we like more than a blank slate and a willing partner. Tailor-made from scratch for people, places and special events, our bespoke commissions are our signature projects.Read more
We’ve created several shows that we can bring to wherever you are – tailored to your space, your audiences and your event.Read more
Communities & Participation
Participation and engagement are central to many of our people-powered productions – and the more the merrier.Read more
Making Work That Matters
No two projects are the same – but all our shows, festivals and productions share a common approach:
We’re collaborators. From our first conversation to the big day or night, we’ll work with you, your partners, and the communities to whom your project matters most. And as we do so, we’ll make work that’s ambitious, relevant and as brilliant as we can make it in the time and budget we have available.
We’re storytellers. From installations to festivals, theatrical bonfires to robotic puppets, we understand the power of a good story. If you don’t know yours yet, we’ll find a compelling narrative or a playful poetic proposition that takes people on a journey they’ll never forget.
We work locally – to you. We’ll invite creative practitioners in your area to join our project team, developing talent and forging new partnerships in the process. We’ll bring a fresh perspective to bear on any event, and we’ll also always respect and utilise the local knowhow and heritage that makes your part of the world special. Our site-specific and site-responsive work only truly reflects and connects with the places where it happens if we work with diverse local partners.
Discover more about how we bring ideas to life on our Bespoke Commissions page. And if you’re interested, get in touch. Everything starts with a chat.
Green Space Dark Skies opening night in Dartmoor National Park
We’re longtime advocates for sustainable practice, and we’ve always tried to walk what we talk – leading the way on sustainable working practices, and engaging with partners, communities and audiences on environmental responsibilities and the realities of climate emergency.
Sustainability is one of our core values, central to every project we make – crucial, non-negotiable and at the forefront of everything from planning and procurement to event delivery. Guided by our own cross-departmental Sustainability Group, we see sustainable development as making a continuous effort to bring about positive change. And as an active member of the Greater Manchester Arts Sustainability Team (GMAST) since its inception, we’re working collectively to make this change happen.
See how we put our approach into practice in projects as varied as our Climate Change Myth Buster, a pocket-sized touring theatre production, and Green Space Dark Skies, our epic UK-wide journey that had sustainability at its heart. Read more on our Sustainability page and in our Sustainability Policy.
What Matters to Us
We take pride in the values that we embed across all our activity, from the projects we create to the working culture at our Salford HQ.
From passion to compassion, creativity to collectivity, our values guide our organisation and the work we do. Our purpose-built Cobden Works headquarters is designed to foster the collaborative spirit that we cherish, welcoming a constant flow of artists and creative practitioners to shape our latest projects.
We’re proud of our longtime commitment to inclusivity. Our cross-departmental Equity, Diversity, Inclusivity and Belonging Group helps to guide our working culture and we are part of the Arts Marketing Association’s Breakthrough programme.
We're a Disability Confident Committed, Living Wage, Mental Health Aware and Creative Access Employer.
Working with Communities
Communities are central to so much of our work. We believe in the power of people – as active participants and spellbound spectators. And we make sure our work truly reflects the places where we make and present it.
Some of these communities are right on our doorstep in Salford. We work widely across the city, from schools projects to wetlands festivals to have-a-go creative activities at Cobden Works... All rooted in our belief in the power of culture to bring people together.
Community is also crucial to so many of our projects across the nation and beyond. From Rochdale's Wild Outside to Bodø Midsummer Mischief, we’re at our happiest when we’re collaborating with people and communities – not just paying lip service to ideas of co-creation, but really inviting people into the heart of the work we make.
We’re rooted in Salford but we work far beyond it – and countries far and wide have invited us to make magic on their shores.
Our huge opening show for Liverpool 08 European Capital of Culture brought our work to the attention of millions. We’ve since worked with a host of European cities on similar spectacular shows in public space, including two massive projects in a pair of future Capitals of Culture: Bodø and Oulu.
From Ireland to Finland, Cyprus to Portugal, our work transcends nationalities and borders – but is always rooted firmly in place. If you’re interested in joining our international cohort, please get in touch.
Get in touch
We’d love to hear from you
Everything we do starts with a conversation – so just drop us a line.