Sports field with goal posts and houses in the distance

Greater Manchester chosen as green pioneer for the urban environment

Greater Manchester is one of four UK settings chosen to “pioneer” new ways of working in order to better protect and enhance our natural environment.

As part of the Government’s 25-year environment plan launched today, Greater Manchester has been announced as the UK’s ‘Urban Pioneer City Region’, bolstering the region’s green credentials and providing a significant boost to its ambition to become the greenest city region in the UK.

The Government’s department for the environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) has developed an ambitious 25-year environment plan that will help to shape their long-term approach for the UK’s natural environment. 

As part of the plan, Defra has established pioneer project areas in four distinct national locations and settings to trial and test new ways of working that benefit the local environments. The settings are a river catchment (Lancashire and Cumbria), an urban area (Greater Manchester), landscape (Devon), and marine (east and west coastal locations).

The ideas that are developed as part of these projects can be used in other parts of the country to help everyone make better decisions to protect and improve the environment.

Cllr Alex Ganotis, Greater Manchester’s Green City Region lead, said: “That Greater Manchester has been selected to be the UK’s national urban pioneer city region is testament to the hard work being done by our local communities and partner agencies to better support our environment and achieve carbon neutrality.

“This will also feed into the work of our Green Summit in March, where we will be developing our ambitious goal of becoming a carbon-neutral city; acting now to prevent further damage to our environment and create a greener, healthier and more attractive region for the people who live and work here.” 

The Green Summit, called for by the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, takes place on 21 March 2018. Following a consultation phase, it will bring together environmental experts, interest groups, partner agencies, academics and local people together to establish a ‘green charter’, accelerate Greater Manchester’s green ambitions, and explore the earliest possible milestones for achieving carbon neutrality.

For more information Tweet @GMLowCarbonHub #GMGreenCity. To take part in the survey about how we can make Greater Manchester a leading green and carbon-neutral city region, visit

Greater Manchester Combined Authority is a member of the Greater Manchester Local Nature Partnership, meeting regularly with other partners to improve the region’s natural environment.

The Combined Authority’s Low Carbon Hub oversees the delivery of and helps to drive progress on the integrated Climate Change and Low Emissions Implementation Plan (2016-2020) which aims to cut carbon emissions by 48% between 1990 and 2020. 

The Environment Agency coordinates the Urban Pioneer, working closely with Greater Manchester. Lee Rawlinson Area Director (GMMC) and Mark Easedale Greater Manchester Area Manager are key contributors to the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub and this strong track record of collaboration, alongside Greater Manchester’s clear green city ambition, was pivotal to placing the Urban Pioneer in Greater Manchester.

Projects that will be supporting and feeding into the ‘Urban Pioneer’ project include: Natural Course (; the region’s climate resilience activities, in particular the RESIN project and other joint work with the Environment Agency North West.

Article Published: 14/12/2018 10:54 AM