Green upgrades for public buildings
£78m decarbonisation fund
The award was the result of a successful bid from Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and 14 other partners to the Government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.
Buildings and organisations across the public estate set to benefit from retrofitting measures including Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Transport for Greater Manchester, Greater Manchester Police, the Royal Northern College of Music, the National Cycling Centre, and facilities including leisure centres, schools, and offices.
The measures will include the installation of air source heat pumps for heating, solar panels to generate and create electricity, insulation and LED lighting to improve energy efficiency, and energy monitoring and control systems to ensure these public facilities can accurately measure their energy usage.
In total, the works are 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.