Manchester Arts Sustainability Team

MAST was established in 2010 by a group of Manchester-based arts and culture organisations to begin to understand how they could contribute to the delivery of Manchester: A Certain Future. The group now has over 30 members and meets regularly to share best practice and develop new joint initiatives. 


MAST - the Manchester Arts Sustainability Team has been operating for 5 years. It was initiated under a different name when Manchester International Festival and Manchester Art Gallery commissioned an organisation called Julie's Bicycle to help Manchester's Cultural Sector respond to sustainability. For a period they led discussions with the leaders of some key organisations helping develop some tools to enable more sustainable working. During this period we agreed that we would match the target set by Manchester A Certain Future (now Manchester Climate Lab) to reduce carbon emissions by 41% by 2020. At this point the members began to feed information on an annual basis for analysis and we produce an annual report monitoring our performance as a group against the city’s target. As cultural organisations in Manchester and Salford we must play a role in advocating sustainable practice and making sure climate change is being talked about in our city.  I'm really pleased to say we have achieved a 7% year on year decrease. The MAST network now facilitates itself and has grown. Our current members include:


  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • Whitworth Art Gallery
  • Manchester Museum
  • Royal Exchange Theatre
  • HOME
  • Band on the Wall
  • MIF
  • Walk The Plank
  • BBC
  • Contact Theatre
  • Jewish Museum
  • RNCM
  • ZArts
  • The Lowry Centre
  • MOSI
  • CG Associates - Castlefield Gallery
  • ITV
  • Manchester Pride
  • Community Arts Northwest
  • Chinese Arts Centre
  • University of Manchester
  • Waterside Arts Centre


We are essentially a networking group with a sustainability brief and meet quarterly. We also create events and topic based initiatives to help our organisations learn how to cut emissions. Current projects include setting up cultural sector specific Carbon Literacy Training and exploring how we might collectively procure our energy from renewable sources. We operate on an annual subscription based on the size of organisation and creates a fund from which we procure the reporting and fund events/initiatives but this subscription doesn’t stop anyone from joining the conversation nor indeed a Salford postcode. The group is facilitated by a host organisation which is currently the Royal Exchange Theatre and chaired by Simon Curtis who also sits on the Steering Group for Manchester Climate Change Agency.