A new agency is being created to advocate and support the cultural sector in being more age friendly.

The agency is being lead by Manchester Museum in collaboration with the Whitworth, Manchester Art Gallery, Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing.

The initiative is being backed by The Baring Foundation which has dedicated its arts funding to work with older people since 2010.  Speaking about the new agency, David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation commented, “The Baring Foundation is coming to the end of a ten year programme of funding creative ageing across the UK . We are delighted to award the consortium led by Manchester Museums £250k to advocate for the development of this work, in particular emphasising its importance to English policy makers and funders. The record of Manchester for many years in engaging the arts to make it age friendly makes it the ideal place to take this work forward.”

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The Agency will investigate the profound shifts needed to tackle ageism and create sustainable age friendly culture and communities. It will act as an advocate to funders and policy makers. It will also connect people and organisations leading age friendly culture across England and beyond.

In its first year the agency will initiate a major investigation into diversity, age and the cultural sector with decisions and priorities lead by older people.  The agency is also set to recruit partners nationally and internationally.

Esme Ward, Director of Manchester Museum and GM Ageing Hub Strategic Lead for Culture said, “It’s time to build momentum and for imaginative, brave thinking and action if we are going to address ageism and realise the potential of a creative ageing society. I’d encourage those who share this ambition – arts organisations, cultural leaders, policy makers, academics, artists and investors – to step up and get involved.”