Museums, schools, and hospitals are among Greater Manchester buildings set to benefit from a £1bn Government investment in green technology to cut carbon emissions.

Funding will also support investment in hydrogen energy and carbon capture technology to transform the North West of England into a low carbon industrial cluster by 2030 – including Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales.

The Government’s £1bn Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy aims to slash emissions by two-thirds in just 15 years and put the UK at the forefront of the global green industrial revolution.

It will boost Greater Manchester’s aim of achieving net carbon neutrality by 2038 – 12 years before national targets – and support new jobs and skills in the green economy.

To reduce carbon emissions from public buildings including hospitals, schools and council buildings, £932m has been directed to 429 projects across England through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. It will fund low carbon heating systems, such as heat pumps, and energy efficiency measures including insulation and LED lighting.

Greater Manchester will receive £97m from the scheme, with:

  • £78,236,986 for Greater Manchester Combined Authority to decarbonise 15 bodies of the Greater Manchester public estate, including Transport for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Greater Manchester Police, the Royal Northern College of Music, and various Greater Manchester community buildings, including 36 schools and 22 leisure centres.
  • The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester will receive £4,288,727
  • Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council will receive £288,196
  • Mount St Joseph, Manchester will receive £92,590
  • Aquinas College, Stockport will receive £440,905
  • Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester will receive £9,562,865
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust will receive £4,151,000

A further £171m is being made available across the UK through the Industrial Decarbonisation Fund, including £33m for HyNet North West for two projects that aim to transform the North West of England into a low carbon industrial cluster by 2030 – including Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and North Wales.

Two projects will look to decarbonise industry by directly capturing and storing emissions, creating a hydrogen economy across the North West, this includes repurposing old oil and gas facilities for carbon transport and storage.

The projects will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1 million tonnes per year from 2025, rising to up to 10 million tonnes per year from 2030 and beyond, the equivalent of taking 4 million cars off the road. HyNet North West will provide green energy for local homes and businesses – a blend of hydrogen and natural gas.

As a result of government funding, HyNet North West aims to create thousands of new jobs in the North West by 2025, while protecting and retaining skilled jobs, attracting new talent and providing learning, training and upskilling opportunities.

The allocation to GmCA follows a successful bid with 14 other partners to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

It is expected to support the creation or safeguarding of around 2,000 jobs throughout the city-region, and will support the goals of Greater Manchester’s Five Year Environment Plan, including becoming carbon neutral by 2038 – 12 years ahead of the national target.

Cllr Andrew Western, GMCA Lead for the Green City-Region, said:

“Tackling the climate emergency requires bold and meaningful change at every level, and from all of us. Greater Manchester’s Five Year Environment Plan set a target of becoming a carbon neutral city-region by 2038, and to meet our goals it is essential that the public sector leads the way and demonstrates what can be achieved. This grant funding will help to reduce carbon emissions from more than 150 public buildings in the city-region.

“Investment in decarbonisation schemes like retrofitting and low-carbon energy is going to be crucial in powering a green recovery from the pandemic. We estimate that this funding, the largest award in England, will support the creation or safeguarding of more than 2,000 jobs here in Greater Manchester, fostering the skills that we need to keep cutting emissions and create a more sustainable future.”

The upgrades taking place across the public estate will complement the retrofitting of domestic properties carried out through the GMCA-managed Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme, which was recently extended until September. Households with incomes of less than £30,000 can apply for grants worth up to £10,000 towards energy efficiency improvements, helping to save on energy bills and cut emissions.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme was launched in October 2020 and offered local authorities grants of up to 100% of the cost of upgrading public buildings, with the aim that worked will be carried out and decarbonisation measures in effect by the end of September.

Solar Panels