To celebrate our 10th year, we’re launching ‘Manchester Amplified’, a new scheme created to support the talent and creativity of arts and culture in Greater Manchester with free podcast production.

We’ll be supporting three artists, grassroots organisations or community projects by producing a bespoke podcast series for each, amplifying their work through the power of sound.

Our team will develop the content alongside the chosen individuals or groups, before recording, mixing and releasing the series.

Perhaps you want to tell your story, explore a piece of work, promote a project, or maybe improve audio accessibility to the arts? Simply tell us why you’d like to receive support from Audio Always and we’ll consider your pitch.
Successful individuals or groups will be selected by a panel of experts from across arts and media.

Examples of ideas might include:


Jane Beese

Director of Music, MIF

Jane Beese is Director of Music at Manchester International Festival, where she oversees music content for the biennial festival and The Factory, due to open in 2023.

Previous roles include Head of Music at the Roundhouse and Head of Contemporary Music at the Southbank Centre, where she served as Director of Meltdown festival alongside artistic curators including David Bowie, Patti Smith, Morrissey, and David Byrne. In 2009 she was nominated to the British Council’s Cultural Leadership Programme and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the CPA and the Creative Advisory Board at Help Musicians UK.

Linton Stephens

Radio 3 Presenter and Chineke! Orchestra bassoonist

Linton Stephens is Sub-Principal Bassoon with Chineke! Orchestra and a BBC Radio 3 presenter, having fronted shows including Sounds Connected, Music Matters and Classical Fix Podcast.

In addition to being a member of Chineke! Orchestra he has performed with many of the UK’s leading professional orchestras including the BBC Philharmonic, Hallé and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. A passionate advocate for equality, Linton is Chair of the Musicians Union equalities committee, a mentor for the BBC’s open music scheme and a governor of Chethams School of Music. 

Nathaniel J Hall

Theatre-maker, writer and performer

Nathaniel Hall is an award-winning actor, writer and HIV activist, known for his HIV stigma-smashing solo-show First Time about his experience of growing up HIV+ from age 16. First Time has enjoyed audience and critical success alike and Nathaniel’s story has reached millions through broadcast, media and print. He is Co-Artistic Director of Dibby Theatre, an award-winning LGBTQ-led theatre company from Manchester. 

Nathaniel also appeared as Donald Bassett in It’s A Sin, the 11-times BAFTA nominated hit C4 drama about HIV/AIDS in 1980’s Britain. His community-led creative activism has been covered extensively by the UK’s media including Good Morning Britain, Channel 4 News and BBC Breakfast.

Keisha Thompson

Artistic Director and CEO, Contact

Keisha Thompson is a writer, performance artist and producer, and recipient of The Arts Foundation Theatre Makers Award 2021. She was recently appointed as the youngest ever Artistic Director and CEO of Contact theatre. 

Keisha’s latest work includes new play The Bell Curves, a mini album in collaboration with Werkha and cellist Abel Selaocoe, and her award-winning solo show, . She is Chair of radical arts funding body, Future’s Venture Foundation, a MOBO x London Theatre Consortium Fellow and a member of the Greater Manchester Cultural and Heritage Group.

Paul Fernley

Head of Partnerships and Marketing, Audio Always

Paul is part of Audio Alway’s team, delivering audio projects for brands, talent and broadcasters. He started his career as a journalist before moving over to radio producing and programming.

He’s passionate about Manchester’s art scene having grown up with family links to arts and cultural organisations like Walk The Plank, Manchester International Arts and The Met in Bury.

He’s excited to hear from diverse and creative organisations across Greater Manchester.

How to Apply


Applications are now closed. If you have any questions about the scheme please email

Frequently Asked Questions

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