UCEN Manchester and The Manchester College receive £2.8m to reduce carbon footprint

City Campus Manchester ariel view

UCEN Manchester and The Manchester College have secured £2.8m funding to reduce their overall carbon footprint and take steps to become more sustainable.

To achieve Greater Manchester’s commitment to becoming a carbon neutral city region by 2038, the higher education provider is to reduce emissions by 13% every year. This includes the brand new city centre campus becoming zero carbon by 2028.

The £2.8m grant secured by UCEN Manchester comes from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS), funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and delivered by Salix Finance. The funds will provide LED lighting replacements as well as roof and wall insulation at their Openshaw campus to reduce the energy and electricity usage.

The funding was partially provided by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) after being awarded c.£75M of PSDS funding last year and since then has been working with a range of Greater Manchester partners to deliver investment in carbon reduction works that meet Government funding criteria.

<p">Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) installations are being installed at Openshaw campus, to reduce reliance on gas fired water heating as part of a commitment to remove the need for fossil fuels within the public sector.</p">

A 400KW photo voltaic array will also be installed at the newly developed Openshaw campus which will help generate significant renewal electricity supplies to reduce reliance on the National Grid.

The equivalent carbon of over 1,131 trees per annum will be saved through the implementation of these carbon reduction measures.

The additional funding will further enhance UCEN Manchester and The Manchester College’s sustainability credentials, at a time when it is nearing the end of its c. £140m investment to transform its estate to deliver industry standard facilities that will ensure learners of all ages are able to acquire all the skills they will need to have a successful and rewarding career.

The project includes significant redevelopment of existing campuses and building a brand-new state-of-the-art campus in the centre of Manchester which will open in September this year.

The disposal of several of sites later this year will enable further energy efficiency in the existing estate and improve UCEN Manchester’s position when minimising carbon and energy usage.

To support the Council in achieving their target and in line with their Low Energy and Carbon Agenda, brand-new City Campus Manchester has incorporated a number of design features to reduce carbon emissions, including improving the glazing g-values in order to limit solar gains and reduce cooling requirements and utilising high levels of insulation and air tightness to minimise heat loss.

Other design features include utilising on-site renewable energy, reducing operational energy through consideration of building fabric and passive design, systems efficiency, energy management and considering the physical wellbeing of building occupants such as indoor air quality, daylight, and overheating.

Lisa O'Loughlin, Principal of UCEN Manchester and The Manchester College, commented: “As an organisation with a strong commitment to sustainability, we are passionate about playing our part in protecting the environment and reducing our own carbon footprint.

This funding will enable us to take important steps forward in achieving our sustainability goals and ensure that we are not only providing industry standard facilities for generations to come, but also playing our part in addressing climate change challenges now so that there is less pressure on future generations to solve the climate crisis.

The target carbon reduction expected to be achieved from all works is c.340 tonnes of carbon/annum across the estate, which is equivalate to the weight of around 340 baby Humpback Whales or 217,600 bricks.

The majority of the carbon reduction work is due to be complete in Spring 2022.