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Salford signs own climate change agreement

Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart has given his backing to two groups that are promoting community-owned green energy in the city to help save money and the planet.

Greater Manchester Community Renewables Ltd (GMCR), formed by volunteers in January 2015, wants to raise up to £250,000 from a community share offer to install solar panels in three local schools and other community buildings.

Investors will get an annual return on their shares while the schools get cheaper electricity and any profits after reimbursing investors will go into a community fund to support local carbon reduction and environmental education projects.

And volunteers who set up Moss Community Energy after a series of public meetings in Irlam, Cadishead and Eccles, want to use a similar scheme to fund  solar panels at Moss Lane Farm and a local primary school and use their profits to fund climate change education and fuel poverty projects. The group now has members across Salford.

“The answers to tackling climate change lie in the community so I’m delighted to sign an agreement with these two exciting and innovative groups to show the council’s full support," said City Mayor Ian Stewart.

“We will now work with these projects to help them identify suitable sites, consult with local communities and give people who live or work in Salford the opportunity to invest in the project.”

Salford City Council has already installed solar panels at the Civic Centre to save energy and costs and introduced a fleet of green cars to save money and emissions on business travel. 

It has reduced its carbon emissions by 22.5 per cent since 2009 and saved £100,000 a year in energy bills and is backing the RHS campaign Greening Grey Britain, encouraging householders to green concreted over front gardens to help soak up rainwater and minimise flooding. 

And it has captured the city’s ‘green’ achievements in  a sustainable energy document showing how the council and its partners have cut carbon emissions and saved money.

“We are really pleased to be working together with Salford City Council to bring solar panels to Salford’s schools," said Kate Eldridge, DIrector of GMCR.

"Not only will this help schools save money on their electricity bills, it will also help children learn more about energy and climate change.”

Both GMCR and MCE will soon be launching share offers to raise funds for their projects.

Anyone interested in receiving copies of the offer can register at www.gmcr.org.uk or contact hello@mosscommunityenergy.org.uk

Main Image: Sunshine in Salford by Flickr user Tom Blackwell.

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