Hands On 2023

BY Deborah Simms


Manchester Craft and Design Centre

We are excited to announce the second cohort of Hands On; a Manchester Craft & Design Centre programme of support including a £1000 bursary to help launch the careers of three makers who identify as underrepresented in Craft. 

Manchester Craft and Design Centre houses 20 studios in the Northern Quarter where our community of makers create and sell their work. Our studios are open to the public and visitors can learn about Craft through our exhibitions, regular workshops and talks. We also have a café, community hub and an exhibition and events space which is managed by our small but dedicated staff team. 

Thanks to the Radcliffe Trust and generous donations to the Kate Day fund, this will be the second cohort of our Hands On programme. This is part of our ongoing work to ensure that Manchester Craft and Design Centre reflects the population of Greater Manchester, by providing under-represented early career makers with opportunities in our space. 

To learn more about the Kate Day Fund, or to donate to ensure we can continue projects like this, please visit the Kate Day Fund page.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

We want to break down the barriers to a career in craft, and will work with applicants to be as flexible as possible to their needs. Bursaries will be awarded to three successful applicants in early August 2023. The programme will be delivered from late August until the end of December. The majority of sessions will take place on Wednesdays during that time. Due to a high volume of makers working in ceramics and jewellery on site, we will unfortunately be unable to accept applications from these disciplines. 


  • A bursary of £1000 for materials or equipment to help you create your work. This will be paid in full at the beginning of the project
  • Access to a maker mentor to discuss your creative and business development and to help identify opportunities for support and progression (eg. funding opportunities or exhibition opportunities) 
  • Free Creative Business Development workshops  
  • Free showcase at Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair in October the North’s leading and award-winning craft fair 
  • Christmas pop-up at our incubator studio in Manchester Craft and Design Centre 



Manchester Craft and Design Centre


This is for you if you:

  • Are in the early stages of your career as a maker 
  • Are based in Greater Manchester 
  • Have a craft skill that you’ve self-taught, learnt on the job or studied and feel confident with 
  • Need time, space and support to build your business 
  • Can commit to the programme from August 2023 
  • We estimate that you will need to spend a minimum of 7 hours a week developing your product and/ or business. 
  • This opportunity is for people who are 18 years old and above


We want to be as flexible as possible for you to take part. 

To apply, please fill in this Application Form 

If you need this application form sent to you in a different format (eg. Word/ large print/ PDF), please let us know.  

The deadline for applications is 10am on Wednesday 2nd August  

We aim to select 3 makers to take part in the bursary, and will contact everyone who applies to let them know our decision by the end of the working day Friday 4th August

If you have questions or would like to have an informal chat, please email [email protected] 

On Friday 28th July, we will be holding one-to-one sessions on Zoom or over the phone for anyone that is thinking about applying. To book a 20-minute chat with us to talk about your application or to hear more about the project, please email [email protected]