Watch: Video showcases the minds and technology decarbonising Manchester

Future Relics looks at the UK’s second largest economic region, and the world’s first industrial city, to reveal how North West science and engineering prowess, alongside local policy, is working to reach Net Zero by 2038.

Marketing Manchester, Manchester Museum, Siemens, Cadent and Finest Media have released a new documentary which showcases the minds and technology responsible for decarbonising Manchester. 

brown and gray high rise buildings

Often considered the world’s first industrial city, the North West’s biggest urban area – and the UK’s second largest regional economy – has directly contributed to industrialisation on a global scale. With that in mind, it stands to reason that Greater Manchester, a renowned area for science and technology, should want to position itself at the vanguard of the race to reduce emissions, in turn improving air quality and mitigating the spiralling symptoms of the climate crisis.

‘We can quite legitimately say that we were the people that kickstarted the industrial revolution,’ said Steve Connor, CEO of Creative Concern. ‘And that’s essentially when global carbon emissions started to escalate incredibly. And during that process we were riding the wave of a huge number of innovations – steam, coal, cotton, textiles, then computing… But the legacy of all that is that we had a huge part to play in the global industrialisation that has led to the climate crisis.’

The video goes on to explore a number of ways in which the city-region, its business and academic sectors, are collaborating on the enormous task at hand. This includes the Cadent Retrofit Task Force, helping move existing homes away from reliance on fossil fuels for heat, essential given 80% of all buildings that will be standing in 50 years are already built, and the company’s work replacing underground pipes with plastic alternatives in preparation for the rollout of domestic hydrogen supplies. 

Elsewhere, we are introduced to The Growth Company, which not only provides support to businesses across the region but is one of eight founding members of the regional Energy Innovation Agency. Among other things, they are striving for ‘simple, innovative solutions’ to the crisis. Unsurprisingly, the potential offered in graphene, a revolutionary material discovered at the University of Manchester, doesn’t go unmentioned, either. Less expected is its possible applications, from transport to construction, and the startling figure that if the concrete industry were a country it would be the world’s third largest carbon contributor. 

Watch the full video below, then read a recent open letter by the Climate Change Committee on the UK Government’s failure to ensure buildings are energy efficient. 


Image: Matthew Waring


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top