Wythenshawe Forum is now powered by solar electricity, with the installation of a new photovoltaic array on the building’s roof completed.
New carbon-saving features for the popular community hub are set to reduce carbon emissions by 121 tonnes per year, while also saving more than £50,000 in energy costs annually.
To complement the solar array, 1,386 of the Forum’s light fittings are being upgraded to LED, reducing their energy consumption by 70 per cent, with a new and more efficient lighting control system also installed.
The upgrade is part of Manchester City Council’s ambitious £25m project to reduce carbon emissions across its estate, which is seeing retrofitting work carried out across its buildings to improve energy efficiency, save money and cut emissions - helping the city to work towards achieving its zero-carbon goal by 2038 at the latest.
The £10m first phase of the council’s programme, to retrofit its highest emission buildings, is drawing to a close and will achieve an emissions cut of 1,600 tonnes a year. New solar installations are underway at Moss Side Leisure Centre, Hough End Leisure Centre, East Manchester Leisure Centre, Arcadia Library & Leisure Centre, the Manchester Tennis & Football Centre, Belle Vue Leisure Centre, the Space Project and the Sharp Project.
Work to enable a £15m second phase of the programme, which will reduce emissions by a further 3,000 tonnes a year, is now progressing.
Since 2009/10, the Council has already reduced its annual direct carbon emissions by more than 50 per cent. In March 2020, it agreed a landmark Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25, setting out an ambitious target to halve its emissions again in the space of just five years - from around 32,000 tonnes a year to around 16,000 tonnes a year.
Executive Member for the Environment, Planning and Transport, Councillor Angeliki Stogia, said: “This project to modernise the energy supply for Wythenshawe Forum is a great example of the work which is happening right across the city to cut carbon emissions from the Council’s buildings as quickly as possible.
"Wythenshawe Forum's solar power installation will help to reduce the Council's direct carbon emissions, as part of our radical proposals to rebuild a greener Manchester in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Having declared a climate emergency, we're committed to doing everything within our power to rapidly reduce the Council’s carbon emissions, in line with science-based targets which comply with the Paris Agreement."
Eddie Flanagan, chief executive of Wythenshawe Forum Trust said: “As one of Manchester’s largest public buildings and a busy community hub, it's essential that we support and contribute to the city’s carbon reduction targets. This has been a complex project, affecting almost all of the Forum and has needed buy-in from all of our stakeholders. We are looking forward to the new equipment and technology coming online this year, which will bring significant reductions in carbon emissions and energy costs."