Tony Walsh is making a gift to the people of Greater Manchester by donating usage of his iconic ‘This Is the Place’ poem and associated royalties to the charity Forever Manchester to support grassroots community activity across Greater Manchester.
Tony’s poem caught the attention of the world’s media in May 2017 when he performed on the steps of Manchester Town Hall at the city vigil the day after the Manchester Arena attack. Trending fourth in the world and featuring on CNN, ABC, and newspapers from The New Yorker to The South China Daily.
By giving the people of Manchester a sense of pride and words where there were none, ‘This Is the Place’ has become synonymous with the city of Manchester and the resilience of its people, and has been used on artworks, buildings and merchandise ever since.
“‘This Is the Place’ has entered the fabric of the city in a way an artist can only dream of,” commented Tony Walsh. “Every day I receive a request to use the poem in all sorts of different ways and people stop me in the street to tell me how it has helped or affected their lives. It feels only natural to continue to use the poem to help a charity that really makes a difference to the people of Greater Manchester.”
The poem has already been used to make a book, a record and a piece of artwork, and it has been used on buildings across the city. The poem has already raised in excess of £150,000 for three charities and this gift will formalise the arrangement for future donations and new uses to Forever Manchester.
Nick Massey, CEO at Forever Manchester, said: “Back in 2013 we asked Tony Walsh to bring our cause to life, to give it a voice and a personality to our local communities. What we got back was the amazing poem ‘This is the Place’. But it was never intended to mark a moment in time, it’s a poem that should always remind us just how important our local communities are, in bad times, sure… but, perhaps more importantly, in good times too. Communities matter now more than ever. Let’s recognise their value and make sure that we nurture them and play our role in ensuring they thrive, now and forever.”
The poem was shared on social media by everyone from JK Rowling to Piers Morgan, and even the Gallagher brothers were agreed on this. Whilst Noel supported the book and performed at the re-opening of Manchester Arena, Liam declared it “the best ******* words out of any Mancunian’s mouth ever!”
Licensing of the poem will be available through www.thisistheplace.info which details the condition of use including correct spellings and context of the use to enhance the visitor experience or community spirit of Manchester. The poem will be available for free for educational purposes in school libraries and colleges, many of whom have already filled their walls with artwork, tributes and their own version of the poem. Businesses will be requested to make a donation to the Forever Manchester charity in accordance with their size and usage, and profits from any requests to produce merchandise will benefit the charity also. Businesses who have contributed a donation already include Manchester City Football Club and Price Waterhouse Cooper.
The website will set out the terms of usage and makes the license available in a simple and easy manner. It will help to ensure that all merchandise is properly licensed and members of the public can be assured that the merchandise profit contributes to a good cause. The terms and conditions will be reviewed after a period of two years. Shoosmiths LLP are providing pro bono support to set up the rights management.