Manchester aims to build green with £15m low carbon fund

Manchester is backing emerging clean building technologies as the city’s ongoing development gathers pace with the introduction of a new fund.

Launched by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, the new £15m loan programme is designed to make it easier for infrastructure and property developers to include renewables as part of their projects.

The scheme, which is backed by money from the European Regional Development Fund, called the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Fund will supply loans to fund projects that typically aren’t an attractive commercial proposition due to the infancy of potential green technology involved.

The launch was publicly backed by Mayor Andy Burnham who said that: “The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is pleased to launch our new Low Carbon Fund that will encourage the use of renewable energy in property developments and infrastructure projects while also providing commercial investment in Greater Manchester.

“This announcement comes at an exciting time as we this month we are holding Greater Manchester’s landmark first Green Summit which will set out how we will become one of the leading green cities in Europe.”

Examples of how development projects can include clean building technologies include generating energy from waste, Biomass systems and development-dedicated wind turbines.

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The scheme will work in partnership with the existing Greater Manchester European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) fund which provides grants to support similar projects, as well as energy efficiency upgrades to public infrastructure including street lighting.

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(Example of a biomass power facility which generates energy through renewable wood chips)

The scheme will be managed by GVA, with John Tatham saying: “The benefits that the fund can bring to developers and the environment are vast, as is the scope for the funding, which could include anything from district heating technology to wind farms to reduce region’s carbon footprint.