Hope Mill Theatre exists to enrich, educate and entertain our community by providing a uniquely superior theatre experience – enabling audiences and artists alike to be inspired, ambitious and enlightened through the power of theatre.
Our vision is to create a safe and inclusive home where audiences and artists may fulfil their full potential and share experiences and human stories through new writing, educational activity, classic texts and musicals – in an environment where everyone is valued and fully supported to fulfil their creativity.
This plan sets out our plans for the coming 4-years – an exciting period of development and growth as we build on the many achievements of Hope Mill Theatre’s early years to secure our long-term future, and lasting success as a major new voice for musical theatre in the North.
Manchester is celebrated as among the most gay-friendly cities in the world and Hope Mill Theatre’s work is firmly anchored in the city’s LGBTQI+ community – as audiences, as performers, as artists and creators… Equally important is the community on the theatre’s own doorstep. To the west is the youthful, canal-side neighbourhood of New Islington, which 30 years of regeneration has transformed from neglect and decay into a haven of greenery, cafes, aspirational apartment buildings and a marina. A few hundred metres in the opposite direction is Manchester’s most deprived ward, Miles Platting and Newton Heath. With an average score of 62.7 in the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (2019), this remains among the most socially and economically deprived wards in the country; poverty, ill-health and lack of opportunity have become entrenched over generations. But – as everywhere – there are also ideas, possibilities, talent and creativity.
From the start, Hope Mill Theatre has worked hard to reach local people, particularly in these disadvantaged neighbourhoods – offering enjoyment, inspiration and opportunity. In 2019 the company became a charity, precisely in order to raise the additional funds needed to ensure its offer was accessible and affordable for all.