Manchester residents and communities set to lead the way on tackling the climate emergency thanks to funding boost

A pioneering programme to help households and communities in Manchester live more sustainably in response to the Climate Emergency will launch in March 2021 thanks to significant funding secured by a collaboration between environmental charity Hubbub, Manchester Climate Change Agency, Manchester City Council with support from The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and Amity CIC.

The programme will see local initiatives rolled out across Manchester – from community fridges and urban greening projects to initiatives promoting energy efficiency, cycling and walking, reuse, repair and recycling.  The projects will be led by a diverse range of local people from the community including local community groups, education establishments and faith institutions and will be supported by positive city-wide communications offering residents practical steps they can take to live in ways that are better for the environment.

Manchester is leading an ambitious programme of zero carbon action where everyone plays their part. Our vision is for a green city with walkable neighbourhoods, clean air, good jobs, warm homes and affordable energy, safe cycling routes and a public transport system that works for everyone.  This calls for everyone to get involved now. Our participation in this programme will support our residents and communities to learn and share practical ways to reduce our carbon footprint every day and empower communities to be at the heart of taking action on climate change”, said Councillor Angeliki Stogia, Executive Member for Environment, Planning and Transport at Manchester City Council.

The National Lottery has awarded a development grant to the programme alongside funding from EsméeFairbairn Foundation, Garfield Weston Foundation, Wates Family Enterprise Trust and a coalition of corporate partners including the Co-op,Suntory Beverage Food GB&I and Coca-Cola GB. The programme is seeking to bring on board further local and national partners to make this a truly collaborative, cross-sector response to the climate emergency.

The programme will explore the potential of residents and communities to respond positively to the climate emergency, followed by the creation of a toolkit of tried and tested initiatives that can be replicated by communities across Manchester and the UK. Activities will be measured by an independent evaluation partner and results will be shared openly.

“Around the UK today, almost three-quarters of all local councils have formally declared a climate emergency and have committed to cut carbon emissions,however many local authorities are struggling to articulate what this means for their residents. 30% of emissions from within Manchester itself is from energy used in our homes, and Manchester residents also contribute to climate change by the food we eat, stuff we buy and throw away and how we travel.With this programme, we’re aiming to unlock the potential of residents and communities to take meaningful action on climate change and create solutions that can go on to be replicated in other communities across the city,” said Lisa Lingard, Resident and Community Lead at Manchester Climate Change Agency.

National polling* recently commissioned by Hubbub found more than half of people (52%) said they are very concerned about the impact that climate change will have on their life and their community and 55% would like to see more happening in their local community to tackle climate change.

The survey results also highlighted some of the barriers to taking action with just under a third of people (32%) admitting they are unclear what role they can play as an individual in addressing climate change. Over 1 in 3 (37%) agreed that whilst climate change is a huge issue, they’re not sure their actions make much difference and 43% agreed with the statement that being environmentally-conscious is expensive.

The programme will initially focus on the areas of Hulme, Moss Side and Rusholme, Newton Heath and Miles Platting, Levenshulme, and the Northern Quarter, and will involve projects designed to help residents save money, improve their health and wellbeing, strengthen community cohesion and resilience, make life easier and create more spaces for the community to enjoy.

The programme will support the target set by Manchester City Council to be a zero-carbon city by 2038 or before – 12 years earlier than the national 2050 target. To achieve this citywide, emissions will need to reduce by 13 per cent every year until 2038. Supporting residents and communities to take action is a crucial part of achieving this ambition.

“Understandably many people are overwhelmed by the threat of climate change. They’re confused about the role we can all play and worried that it will involve too many sacrifices and even cost them money. We hope that this programme will help break down those barriers, providing communities across Manchester with day to day things they can do to reduce their impact on the environment, save money and improve their local neighbourhood.  We’ll approach it in a positive, inclusive way with no finger-wagging and no judgement attached. This project is all about collaboration and we’d love to hear from local communities – both businesses, residents and community leaders who are keen to get involved,” Gavin Ellis, Co-founder of Hubbub said.

Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, thanks the National Lottery for the funding: “Thanks to National Lottery players, communities across Manchester will be able to demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change. From 25 years of funding environmental projects across the UK, we know that local community action can deliver solutions to reduce environmental impact that also offer additional benefits for people to reap.

“This year we have been reminded that communities are best placed to understand their places and spaces, and so often play a vital role in responding in a crisis. This funding will directly support people to respond to the climate emergency in their local communities.”


If you’d like to get involved in the campaign or share your views on where we should focus our efforts in your community, please email he***@ma***************.com

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