Net zero generates over half a million pounds in green tech sales for Greater Manchester businesses

Bee Net Zero partner, Green Economy has brokered over £500,000 sales for Greater Manchester based firms to install green tech including, solar panels, electric vehicle (EV) charging points and environmental management systems since their launch in June 2022. Combined, the projects will save an approximate 1,818.46 tonnes of carbon for the lifespan of the technology.

Green Economy, whose online Marketplace enables businesses to find local, trusted partners for their transition to net zero, has built a network of over 500 local green technologies and services suppliers, providing introductions to Greater Manchester based businesses on their journey to net zero as part of the Bee Net Zero partnership. With many firms looking to invest in green technology but not knowing where to start, Green Economy’s Marketplace helps to simplify the process and ensure that the investment can be made locally.


Amy House, Director of Green Economy said:

“Instilling confidence in green technologies and its suppliers is a key challenge in the transition to net zero, and one that Green Economy is facing head on.

“This landmark of £500,000 of sales brokered by our team demonstrates the appetite to integrate green technologies into local businesses and that having experts on hand to guide the process will help to overcome this market failure.”


One of the projects includes introducing Ellard, a Wythenshawe based supplier of automated door products, to Perfect Sense Energy, solar installation specialists from Wigan, who will begin installing a £180,000 solar PV project in March 2023, which is expected to save 1,198 tonnes of carbon over 25 years. Ellard has gone on to invest further with another local firm, Pilot Group, to develop a £9,000 energy management system which will manage their energy usage in the future.


John McGorrigan, Director of Business Transformation at Ellard said:

“The support that we have received from Green Economy has been invaluable to Ellard and has made our transition to net zero as seamless as can be.


“They’ve been on hand to guide us throughout the process, and their expertise and reassurance has helped us to onboard highly skilled, local experts to deliver our decarbonisation project. Any businesses considering their net zero future should ensure they bring on Green Economy’s expertise as early in the process as they can.”


Additional projects brokered by Green Economy

  • Solar PV installation projects worth £64,000 for Yellow Door Nursery and Air Handlers Northern, which were successfully won by Stockport based, KAST Renewable Energies, saving 13.96 tonnes of carbon over 10 years.
  • Chorley-based EVC group have won £250,000 of EV charging point projects; all of which came from introductions from Green Economy.
  • Working alongside the GC Business Growth Hub’s Sustainability and Net Zero team, Green Economy successfully introduced Bolton based Bri-Tek to secure LED lighting installation projects worth £32,000 for successful applicants of the Carbon Reduction Grant. These projects are expected to make annual savings of 121.3 carbon tonnes and £96,560.

Greater Manchester based suppliers of green technologies and services can create a free profile on the Green Economy Marketplace and access weekly sales opportunities. Visit the Green Economy website to find out more.  


CASE STUDY- Solar installation set to save 1,198 tonnes of carbon over 25 years

When Ellard decided to look at renewable energy solutions for their site in Wythenshawe, John McGorrigan started searching online for a partner.

“I’d done some initial research, but when you type “solar” into Google you’re hit with hundreds of results suggesting everything from independent installers to major corporations. It’s hard to know who the right installer would be for our requirements. We were sure of our reasoning for getting solar panels on the roof of our warehouse, we just weren’t quite sure where to start.” 


Ellard were introduced to the team at Green Economy, who set to work finding the business a project manager from their extensive network of net zero suppliers.


Amy House, Director of Green Economy said: “All businesses can search for a local green tech supplier using Green Economy’s online Marketplace, but the specifications of this project were such that the firm needed bespoke support. Not least that Ellard lease their warehouse, so their landlord needed to be included in the process.”


Green Economy invited several of their members to pitch for the project at an exclusive Meet the Buyer event, which were hosted by the Green Economy team. This service ensured that the specific requirements of their project were met, and that the Green Economy team could dig into the detail regarding buyback periods, after care and project delivery.

Perfect Sense Energy, solar specialists based in Wigan successfully won the £180,000 solar installation contract with Ellard and will begin work at the Wythenshawe warehouse in March 2023.

Gary Brandwood, Managing Director of Perfect Sense Energy said: “Working with Green Economy has been enormously beneficial to our company, through its Marketplace they’ve created a real eco-system of local suppliers to collaborate with, as well as a pipeline of potential customers to support on their journey to net zero. Having a local network like this provides real weight when competing for business development opportunities.”


Bruntwood SciTech Reveals Plans For £60m Highly Specialist Lab Space at Manchester Science Park creating 2,500 jobs

Bruntwood SciTech is set to invest a further £60m into Manchester Science Park (MSP) and support the creation of over 2,500 jobs, as it unveils plans for an additional 131,000 sq ft of world-class, highly specialist lab space.


This new state-of-the-art lab space will continue to build on Greater Manchester and the North West’s world-leading cluster of clinical, academic and commercial life sciences assets, companies and expertise.


The plans, which represent the third phase of Bruntwood SciTech’s masterplan to grow the campus to 1m sq ft following the completion of its purpose-built Industry 4.0 hub Base in July 2022, will see the existing Greenheys site redeveloped into a six-storey purpose-built lab space designed specifically for scaling life science businesses working in diagnostics, genomics, precision medicine and more.


Offering a range of CL2 labs with supporting office space from 2,500 sq ft to 22,000 sq ft floors, the targeted BREEAM Excellent development will embrace the latest innovations in building materials and environmental technology and is expected to achieve net zero carbon in construction and operation in its shared spaces.


 The redevelopment of Greenheys will expand the existing life science cluster at Manchester Science Park, which is one of the UK’s most established life science and tech communities. 


The campus is already home to more than 150 fast-growth, pioneering SMEs and large market-leading businesses spanning biotech, precision medicine, diagnostics, digital health, cyber security, digital technology, MedTech and light manufacturing. 


These include the likes of international molecular diagnostics group Yourgene Health which opened its new global hub at the campus; Zilico which is developing the next generation of diagnostic devices for cervical cancer; and enzyme engineering company Imperagen. 


It will also support further economic growth through the creation of over 2,500 FTE jobs during its construction, and operation and in the wider economy as a result of the development.


The new development is perfectly located to encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration. It is immediately adjacent to the University of Manchester’s main campus, in the heart of the city’s Oxford Road Corridor innovation district, which is home to 50% of the city’s life science businesses. 


The Manchester Science Park campus is also a government-designated High Potential Opportunity Zone for Diagnostics and Early Intervention for Healthy Ageing, and a named Enterprise Zone. 


Businesses moving to the thriving campus will be provided by Bruntwood SciTech with direct access to R&D and funding support, world-class talent, and clinical trials opportunities, along with their recently announced UK-wide life science support network, as well as the research and capabilities of the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University and the UK’s largest NHS Trust – Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT).


Peter Crowther, Property Director at Bruntwood SciTech, a joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General, said:

The future success of the UK life science sector is dependent on its many fast-growing and innovative businesses having access to the infrastructure they need, whether that be flexible, specialist workspace or facilitated direct connections into world-class R&D, talent or potential collaboration opportunities with like-minded businesses.


“We continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the places and cities in which we operate, Manchester Science Park being an exemplar of this. Since 2012 we have invested £43m in completing the first two phases of its masterplan, growing the campus from 210,000 to 500,000 sq ft and supporting more than 2,000 people based there every day, and look forward to commencing with our third phase of redevelopment, at Greenheys.”


Bruntwood SciTech’s continued investment into Manchester Science Park as part of its master plan signals its long-term commitment to developing specialist ecosystems to support the growth of the UK science and tech sector and the creation of over 40,000 high-value jobs over the next 15 years. Manchester Science Park is part of Bruntwood SciTech’s network of innovation districts across the UK and 500+ specialist sector business community based across 11 campuses, five of those being in Greater Manchester and Cheshire; Citylabs, Circle Square and ID Manchester in addition to Manchester Science Park within the city’s innovation district, and Alderley Park. 

The new scheme is subject to planning approval by Manchester City Council and will represent another step forward for Manchester’s Oxford Road Corridor, one of the North of England’s most important commercial areas, generating around £3bn in GVA per year.

An online consultation event will take place on 14th March and an in-person event on 16th March at the Bright Building, Manchester Science Park. Members of the public are invited to attend to find out more information about the plans for the building. Subject to planning, the new development will open in Spring 2026, with enabling works starting in Summer 2023.


A local team has been appointed to work with Bruntwood SciTech on the redevelopment of Greenheys, consisting of BDP Architects, planning consultancy from Deloitte, cost consultancy from Walker Sime, DW Consulting for Structures and Civils, and Silcock

Manchester’s Economy Predicted to Be the UK’s Third-Fastest Growing Between 2024 and 2026

According to EY’s latest Regional Economic Forecast, Manchester is set to see the third-fastest economic growth of all UK towns and cities between 2024 and 2026.


When measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), Manchester’s economy is expected to see annual average growth of 2.5% between 2024 and 2026, comfortably outpacing the national growth rate (2.1%). Only Reading (2.7%) and London (2.6%) are expected to see faster growth than Manchester during this time.


By 2026, GVA in Manchester’s local economy is expected to be £2bn larger than in 2022.


Manchester’s positive outlook is supported by the strength of the city’s professional, scientific & technical, and financial & insurance activities sectors. 


As a whole, the North West is expected to see annual average growth of 2% over the same period – a bounce back from the 0.7% contraction forecast for 2023.


The report also shows that Manchester is expected to record the fastest rate of employment growth of any UK town or city from 2024 to 2026, with job numbers in the city forecast to grow 1.8% per year over the period. This is above the national average as UK jobs are expected to grow by around 1.3% a year, and North West jobs are expected to be up 1.2% each year.


The North West is expected to have the fastest-growing economy in the North of England between 2024 and 2026.


Stephen Church, EY’s North Market Leader, said: “The North is home to many of the UK’s most dynamic and innovative businesses and, while the next 12 months will be economically challenging, there are areas across the region where we can expect to see encouraging growth over the next few years. The North’s cities are set to be particularly strong performers.


“However, progress is about the whole of our region, not just our bigger cities. And while several towns and cities are expected to see better economic and employment growth than many other parts of the country, too many places are still expected to trail behind.


“To spread growth, not just throughout the country, but throughout regions too, it is critical that the public and private sectors work together to combine their expertise, strengths, and capabilities. The North needs both working in tandem to succeed.


“Looking ahead, the regions across the North need their own clear strategies for growth, which reflect each region’s own strengths and unique attributes. Getting the right sector mix is key, and investment in high-value sectors and skills can help build a sustainable future – not just for the North, but for the whole country too.”

Manchester’s economic output is forecast to be 97.8% of its pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022. Interestingly, economic output for Greater Manchester is slightly closer to pre-pandemic levels, with an output of 99.1% of 2019 levels. This indicates that areas outside the city centre in Greater Manchester have recovered quicker than the rest of the country.


This is reflected in the strength of the region’s new growth locations and innovation clusters. For example, Rochdale will be home to the North East Growth Corridor and Atom Valley. The report shows that this town is expected to see its economic growth only marginally outpaced by the regional and national rates, with an average of 1.9% growth per year forecast for each from 2024 to 2026. 


Read the full report here.

Stockport Council to create ‘Merseyway Innovation Centre’ giving a boost to local businesses

Stockport Council has announced plans for a new state-of-the-art innovation centre in the heart of Stockport Town Centre.

The new site, which will be named the Merseyway Innovation Centre will be a 15,000-square-foot space on the upper floors of the Merseyway Shopping Centre, which is currently vacant.

That space will now be transformed into a flexible serviced office and co-working accommodation.

Due to open in Summer 2023, the Innovation Centre will transform the first floor of the former Next store and the adjacent former Metro Gym into a fantastic new hub for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. At full capacity, the Innovation Centre has the potential to accommodate up to 50 new businesses right in the heart of Merseyway.

Stockport Council says this will offer a ‘thriving Innovation Centre where fledgling and small businesses will be supported in their growth plans in a centrally located, flexible and inspirational environment.’

They believe it will be another vital cog which is helping to regenerate the area, as numerous plans continue apace.

Some of the facilities at the new centre include:

  • Business lounge – a meeting area, providing opportunities for collaboration and development of the MIC business community
  • Co-working space – bookable desks for small and micro businesses or individuals working remotely. A first step for growing a new business
  • Business units – shared and individual offices with between one and four desks per office, aimed at new and young businesses requiring “incubation” space and support
  • Grow on space aimed at more established businesses with between 4 and 10 employees
  • Meeting rooms
  • All customers will also have access to business support and a programme of workshops and networking opportunities delivered from the centre
  • Ultra-fast broadband

The Innovation Centre supports the Council’s investment into diversifying the town centre, attracting a wide range of people, whilst also repurposing former retail units.

The scheme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Government funds and Stockport Council. Support from the Arts Council England’s Cultural Development Fund will enhance the digital creative offer.

Cllr Colin MacAlister, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council, said: “We have a thriving business community in Stockport but this will strengthen our offer and provide that all-important support for new and small businesses, providing everything they need for their business to grow and prosper.

“The improvements we are making to the wider Merseyway Shopping Centre will further enhance the area and the new Transport Interchange just across the road will make it even more accessible, allowing more people to take advantage of the fantastic facilities and all our town centre has to offer.”

Work will include the construction and fit-out, as well as renovation work to the façade.

It is set to be undertaken by local contractor TMT commercial, who are Stockport based.

TMT will track carbon emissions to and from the site and collect data from waste removal to target less than 0.5% to landfill.

Further added value from the project will see TMT spend 80 hours of voluntary time to support local community projects, make donations to local sports teams and assist Stockport Women’s Centre in the refurbishment of some of their space used to support local women.

Manchester rated ‘Excellent’ by UNESCO as a Creative City Of Literature

Manchester has been rated ‘Excellent’ in all categories by UNESCO after submitting its first report since becoming a City of Literature – a unique achievement among the prestigious group of global cities.

In 2017 Manchester was successful in its bid to join UNESCO’s worldwide Creative Cities network as a City of Literature, which recognised the significant contribution of literature to the city.

To maintain a UNESCO Creative Cities designation, every four years a detailed report for each city is submitted for assessment. Manchester’s first report covering 2017-2021 was submitted to UNESCO last year.

UNESCO said that Manchester’s report was “high quality, setting a good example for other cities to follow”.

The report praised Manchester’s:

  • work to support vulnerable residents during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • partnership approach and strength in literature development and the vitality its approach to multilingualism brings
  • focus on benefits for residents
  • commitment to poetry
  • vibrant publishing sector
  • Annual week-long Festival of Libraries
  • active political involvement in the designation from Manchester City Council, and from the two universities.
  • Manchester’s ambition in contributing to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Over the past five years, The University of Manchester has worked together with Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester City Council and the city’s literary community to deliver a vibrant programme of events, showcasing Manchester’s talents and giving all of its residents the chance to participate in and benefit from the thriving City of Literature.  

 The city’s annual week-long Festival of Libraries was described by UNESCO as “a most impressive initiative… [attracting] great attention both locally and internationally”. The review noted the active political involvement in the City of Literature designation from both universities and Manchester City Council.

Being labelled as Excellent in all relevant categories comes as the city is gaining increasing recognition around the world for its cultural vibrancy. National Geographic included Manchester in its Best of the World 2023 selection and Manchester is the only UK city included in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 list because of its learning and cultural developments.

Manchester also topped Conde Nast Traveller’s Best Places to Go in the UK in 2023 list, which praised the city’s improving sustainability, green space and culture while Time Out also listed Manchester as 4th in their best places to visit in the UK list.

Councillor Luthfur Rahman OBE, Deputy head of Manchester City Council, saidThis is a fantastic achievement for the city and shows that we are investing in local talent and the cultural future of Manchester.” 


Malcolm Press CBE, Vice Chancellor Manchester Metropolitan University said, “The designation has raised the profile of our City as a beacon destination for creative industries, cultural tourism and students of the arts and humanities, and established the reputation of its literature ecosystem as an exemplar of creative excellence and inclusivity” 


Dame Nancy Rothwell, President & Vice-Chancellor said, The UNESCO City of Literature designation has fostered a true ‘Manchester spirit’ of collaboration between our universities, the City and the city’s diverse literary communities. This report recognises that transformational work, and we are very proud of our staff and students’ contribution to a great literary, creative environment in what our colleague Professor Jeanette Winterson has called an “alchemical city” – Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester. invests £8.5 million into new Training Centre near Manchester Airport has opened a multi-million-pound training centre for air and ground crew near Manchester airport.

The £8.5 million new facility at Cheadle in Stockport, complements the leisure airline’s first training centre near Bradford, which opened in 2014. 

The purpose-built new unit enables the carrier to underpin its growth ambitions by training thousands of staff every year, creating a dozen full-time positions for local people.

It will provide a bespoke centre of excellence for training new and current pilots, engineers, cabin crew and staff in ground operations. 

The three-storey facility will house flight simulators, cabin crew trainer units, engineering training devices to enact real-life scenarios, high-tech computer-based training rooms, fully equipped classrooms and briefing rooms.

Jet2 says the training centre will “play a critical role” in ensuring that the carrier has sufficient numbers of highly-trained personnel to support the growth plan.

The opening follows sister tour operation Jet2holidays surpassing Tui as the UK’s largest Atol holder and comes as parent company Jet2 prepares for the introduction of a fleet of new generation Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft.

 The group has 98 firm orders with Airbus, which could eventually extend up to 146 aircraft. and Jet2holidays chief executive Steve Heapy said:Today’s exciting announcement is the latest stage on our growth journey and is another demonstration of our commitment to investing in our successful business. 

“This fantastic new facility complements our existing training centre and enables us to train and develop our award-winning teams as we grow, so that our flight deck, cabin crew, ground operations and engineering teams can continue to provide the first-class experience that our customers have come to know and love when they travel with and Jet2holidays.”