Ten ideas for change: Greater Manchester
May 19, 2015
6. Turning a redundant factory into a state of the art workspace: The Sharp Project
In 2006 the electronic manufacturer Sharp left its east Manchester building. Manchester Council purchased the 200,000 square foot site and set about transforming it for a new generation of entrepreneurs. Sixty companies in the digital creative sector are now based there, from gaming businesses to filmmakers and tech start-ups. The Sharp Project acts as a hub for the city’s creative industry sector and a new spin-off, The Space Project, has recently launched to cater for the TV and film production businesses.
7. Linking food waste & food poverty: Fareshare North West
Emerge 3Rs operates FareShare Greater Manchester, redistributing unwanted surplus food (in-date edible products) from the food industry. Volunteers sort the food into smaller quantities and redistribute it to Community Food Members who provide meals and food to disadvantaged individuals, such as homeless and drug dependent people and schools in deprived areas. Since December 2011, in partnership with Manchester Markets and Food Futures, FareShare NW has been capturing fresh fruit and vegetables from New Smithfield Market wholesalers that would otherwise have been composted.
8. Changing the system for people with complex needs: Inspiring Change Manchester
Led by Shelter, Inspiring Change brings together local partners from the probation, substance dependency, housing and training sectors to create services that wrap around people with complex needs. Breaking down the silos that exist and that often perpetuate problems for people with a range of complex issues, this multi-agency approach is creating services designed with the service user at the forefront.
9. Building a circular economy: Transition Town Bolton
Following a Sustainable Vision for Bolton conference in 2012, Bolton’s Transition Town group formed a number of sub-groups to turn the vision into reality. A lively food growers network has been established and the group is focused on building a circular economy that has no waste or excess. It uses its website to inform local businesses and residents about re-thinking the systems on which their businesses rely.
10. Creating a focal point for sustainable action: MERCi
Merci runs a number of projects focused on a more sustainable future and began its work by converting a former silk mill in the run-down area of the city into a centre for sustainability. Bridge 5 Mill was refurbished with reclaimed and recycled materials and is now one of the city’s most sustainable buildings, with a straw bale reception area and a roof garden. It is home to a number of social enterprises as well as a base for conferences and eco training.
Clare Goff is Editor at New Start magazine