Manchester City Council has set out its full financial commitment for green investments that will help the city reach its aim to become zero carbon by 2038.
For the first time, spending commitments for green infrastructure have been laid out as the local government authority prepares to set out its budget for 2022/23.
£192m has been set aside as part of the Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to halve the direct emissions of carbon by 2025.
As part of plans to reduce emissions, Manchester has already seen 56,000 street lights replaced with low emission LED alternatives, new electric bin lorries have been introduced, and improvements to energy efficiency across council-owned buildings have taken place, including the installation of solar panels and ground/air source heat pumps.
The Civic Quarter Heat Network has also been completed, providing a heating system that supplies low energy heating to prominent city centre buildings, including the Town Hall and Central Library, Manchester Central Convention Centre, The Bridgewater Hall, and Heron House.
Using a series of underground pipes, heat and hot water will be delivered across the city, generated by a new energy centre called the ‘Tower of Light‘, which is both a sculptural landmark for the city, but also harnesses the power of the sun and wind to generate energy. It is planned the network will be extended to allow further city centre buildings to join and reduce their carbon emissions.
Funding provided will also help to create more green space, including the soon to open Mayfield Park, which is Manchester’s first new city centre park for 100 years, which will include sustainable irrigation, and thousands of new trees will be planted through the £1m Tree Action MCR programme.
Where is the money coming from?
£76.4m provided by Manchester City Council
£65m secured from the Government
£41m from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority
£4.3m from European Union legacy funding
£4.3m from partner organisations (inc. social housing provider One Manchester)
£1.1m from Manchester Climate Change Agency
Manchester City Council is also assessing the potential of purchasing a solar farm to provide electricity for the Council’s buildings, and is investing in improvements to cycling and electric vehicle infrastructure, alongside retrofitting council-owned social housing to improve energy efficiency.
Manchester City Council Leader, Councillor Bev Craig, said: “Taking action on zero carbon is one of our absolute priorities. There’s much still to do. The Council and the city as a whole still need to go further to achieve our ambitions. But the scale of investment taking place shows the strong progress which is being made.”
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment for Manchester City Council, said: “These figures help demonstrate the extent of our commitment to tackling climate change.
“They also underline how much funding we’ve been able to bring in from other sources to back this mission.
“The multiple projects which are being brought forward are resulting in real reductions to the Council’s emissions – we are on track to meet our initial target of halving our direct emissions by 2025. But more importantly they are also creating real health and lifestyle benefits for Manchester people, for instance through more green spaces and making it easier to choose greener, healthier transport options.
“Some of what we’re investing will help reduce the Council’s future energy costs as well.
“While the headline figure shows how far we’ve come, we are under no illusions that we need to maintain and build upon this momentum.”