Open for Business


Open for Business is the largely untold story of British manufacturing and industry through the lens of some of the world’s greatest photographers. The programme has a dedicated website at

The UK’s traditional manufacturing base has been, and remains, critical to the success of the British economy, yet it is an under-reported story. The focus on Britain’s industrial skills has acquired even greater resonance following the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, which reminded national and international audiences of our history of innovation from Brunel to Berners-Lee.

Open for Business documents success stories, large and small, that reflect Britain’s changing industrial and cultural heritage. The programme tells the story of British manufacturing, capturing the current landscape and its effect on people, community and culture through the unique international perspective of Magnum photographers. It celebrates the work, activities and lives of people who are often not much reached by or engaged with the arts.

Multistory worked in partnership with Magnum Photos to commission 9 world-renowned photographers to document and record manufacturing industries in 9 British cities. You can see ‘behind the scenes’ images of the photographers’ shoots on the Open for Business Tumblr.

We delivered an education programme in partnership with Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE), the UK’s leading innovator in connecting culture and education; our media partner was the Financial Times Magazine; and our printing and framing partner was Metro Imaging.

The photographers carried out their shoots from January through to October 2013, and the touring exhibition started on 31 January 2014, at the National Media Museum in Bradford.  It then visited each of the venues listed below. For more information on the project and the photographers go to the Open for Business website.

Open for Business was a collaborative project funded by the Arts Council England, through its Strategic Touring Fund, and in partnership: National Media Museum; Manchester Museum of Science & Industry; National Railway Museum; London Science Museum; University of South Wales, Newport; Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery; MShed Bristol; and Street Level Photoworks.