Manchester communities are set to pioneer new approaches to tackle the climate emergency thanks to In Our Nature, an initiative that has been awarded £2.5m from The National Lottery Community Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK.
The funding will help residents deliver over 50 community-led projects to reduce carbon emissions and introduce urban greening and nature-based solutions.
In Our Nature brings together a delivery partnership made up of Manchester Climate Change Agency, Hubbub, Groundwork Greater Manchester, Amity CIC, The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, who will work alongside Manchester City Council’s Neighbourhood Team.
Thanks to the new National Lottery funding, the In Our Nature team will be working throughout Autumn alongside a far-reaching network of experts, individuals, and grassroots organisations to connect with communities and groups looking to collaborate on projects in the new year.
These projects will provide direct support for diverse communities across the city and help to share inspiring stories, amplify community-led projects, and share easy tips to help people take meaningful climate action at home and in their communities.
Actions will be designed to tackle not only climate change, but also other day to day challenges that many people are facing. These include reducing C02 emissions and saving money on household bills by making the most of energy at home, looking at ways to reduce road traffic in favour of heathier and greener modes of transport, and enhancing local green spaces by encouraging local food growing, increasing access to nature and mitigating the impact of flooding and other symptoms of climate change.
The new funding is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund, a ten-year, £100 million fund which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of communities and support community-led movements that demonstrate what is possible when people take the lead in tackling climate change.
The funding will allow the partnership to build on the successes and learnings of In Our Nature so far, which includes projects from a renewed community allotment in Ossory Street, community growing projects in Newton Heath and the Inspired Community Action Programmes in Hulme and four other wards.
The programme has been supported with previous funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, Wates Family Enterprise Trust, Coca-Cola GB, Co-op, Danone UK & Ireland, JCDecaux, Suntory Beverage and Food GB&I and Tetra Pak.
Polling from the initiative has found that over half of Manchester residents think about climate change regularly or frequently, yet one in three don’t know how and where to find practical tips to help them live more sustainably. The programme looks to address this and supports the target set by Manchester City Council to become a zero-carbon city by 2038 at the latest – 12 years earlier than the national 2050 target. To achieve this citywide, emissions will need to reduce by over 13 per cent every year until 2038.
Samantha Nicholson, Director at Manchester Climate Change Agency said: “This National Lottery funding for In Our Nature presents an opportunity to make a huge difference to the everyday lives of Manchester residents. Not only will the projects tackle climate change, but many will also have the added benefit of helping people save money in the face of the rising cost of living crisis.”
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council’s Exec Member for Environment, said: “This Summer’s weather has brought home the reality of the climate emergency and the people of Manchester have a vital role to play in tackling this. We also understand that the cost-of-living crisis is biting. We are looking forward to working with all residents to help them cut their climate impact and save money alongside supporting the delivery of the Manchester Climate Change Framework and reaching the city’s target of zero carbon by 2038, at the latest.”
Nick Gardner, Head of Climate Action at The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Communities have a big role to play in tackling climate change – even small steps can make a big difference. Thanks to National Lottery players, we are able to support the In Our Nature project to bring people together to help address climate change locally, and ultimately helping to move the UK towards net zero at the same time as supporting communities to prosper and thrive. Manchester’s plans to develop localised approaches to the linked nature and climate emergencies are ambitious and exciting, and we’re keen to see how this project will help engage more people across the city with these challenges.”
Thanks to National Lottery players, since 2016, The National Lottery Community Fund has awarded £397 million through more than 6,000 grants which involve environmental action, including action on waste and consumption, energy, transport, food, and the natural environment. National Lottery players raise over £30 million each week across the UK for good causes.