Greater Manchester Green City Region. Creating a greener, greater city region differently

Keith Ashcroft – Environment Agency Area Manager Herve Martin – Head of EU Nature and Environment Life Unit Mark Atherton, GM Director of Environment Tony Lloyd, GM Mayor Rory Stewart – Defra Minister Cllr Derek Antrobus – Chair of Regional Flood and Coastal Committee

Greater Manchester Hosts International Water Quality Conference

The aim of the conference, organised by the combined Nature and Life Unit of the EU, was to share learning between EU regions that were undertaking LIFE funded water projects.

The North West has recently secured €12m of EU funds towards this €20m project which aims to integrate water management approaches from partners that will deliver the North West England River Basin Management Plan.  In particular, the project will address barriers holding back the achievement of “good” ecological status for the region’s water bodies, as required by the Water Framework Directive. 

The North West project will focus on the River Irwell for the first two and a half years and will run over 10 years in total.  It aims to promote more innovative solutions leading to improvements in water quality, flood risk management and the natural environment in the North West. While huge improvements have been made to the region’s rivers and streams over the past 30 years, one third of the poorest quality rivers in England and Wales are currently found in the North West.  Project partners include the Environment Agency NW, United Utilities, Natural England, Rivers Trust and the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). 

A keen environmental advocate, the Mayor took the opportunity to discuss with the Minister how mechanisms to improve local water quality can also reduce flood risk by creating sustainable urban drainage and reducing the rate of water run-off from land.  He emphasised that a good quality environment was intrinsic to Greater Manchester and provided the vital ‘natural capital’ needed to underpin a prosperous economic future and the quality of life of citizens.

Greater Manchester Mayor Tony Lloyd said:

“The European Union funding we have received is a major boost to Greater Manchester and helps us make crucial improvements to manage flood risks and improve water quality.   

“This Conference was a chance to engage with partners across Europe, learning from the best and working cooperatively to change Greater Manchester’s environment for the better.”

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