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Manchester event highlights thriving low carbon sector

A networking morning for SMEs in Greater Manchester’s low carbon sector detailed the region’s future clean energy plans and feedback from buyers of green products and services.

A networking morning for SMEs in Greater Manchester’s low carbon sector detailed the region’s future clean energy plans and feedback from buyers of green products and services.

The event was held by the Business Growth Hub at Manchester Art Gallery on Thursday 3 March to help companies in the sector better understand their supply chain and opportunities for growth.

Speakers at the event included Rupert Butt, business development manager at energy solutions giant, Engie (formerly Cofely UK); Todd Holden, low carbon director at the Manchester Growth Company; and several local buyers and suppliers of low carbon goods and services.

Regional plans

A number of important developments in Greater Manchester were discussed during the event, including the region’s recently announced plans to establish a public energy company to drive investment in local renewable energy.

In addition, a new implementation plan for the conurbation’s climate change strategy is being developed following a public consultation at the end of 2015. The new plan is due to be published soon and will update Greater Manchester’s priorities and identify key actions from 2016 to 2020.

Supporting low carbon growth will also be included in Greater Manchester’s future devolution discussions with central government, increasing the potential for more ‘place-based policy’ in future. 

Plans to roll out several district heating schemes across the conurbation are also underway, with a scheme covering Manchester’s civic quarter now in procurement. 

Low Carbon Network

As well as an update on local developments, the event provided an overview of the Growth Hub’s Low Carbon Network, a virtual community of over 150 companies working in low carbon and environmental goods and services across the region.

The Network’s searchable online database helps to increase the profile of members and helps buyers to find local suppliers of low carbon products and services.

Buyers' perspective

To provide suppliers with a buyers' perspective of procuring their products, speakers from yoghurt manufacturer, Lancashire Farm Dairies, and furniture maker, Bluebell Fitted Furniture, were on hand at the event to give feedback on their experience of procuring low carbon services.

Bluebell installed LED lighting, a wood waste heating burner and solar panels from three separate suppliers following support from the Business Growth Hub’s Green Growth service in 2015.

Other speakers at the event included Bolton-based LED lighting supplier, Bri-Tek Technologies, and Trafford-based electrical supplies distributor, Moss Electrical (NW). 

‘Priority sector’

Amy House, low carbon sector development lead at the Business Growth Hub, said: “Low carbon and environmental goods and services is a priority growth sector for Greater Manchester – it’s important to run these events so suppliers can network and keep up-to-date with what’s going on in this high growth market.

“Companies in the sector can also raise their profile and keep in the loop with new business opportunities by joining our thriving Low Carbon Network, which is fast-approaching 200 members.”

To find out more about the Growth Hub's Low Carbon Network, click here.