Government Minister visits Salford’s Living Lab

Categories: School of Science, Engineering and Environment

The University of Salford welcomed Rebecca Pow, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to visit its Nature Based Solution (NBS) Living Lab located at the University’s main campus in Salford Crescent.  Her visit coincides with the Conservative Party conference that is being held in Manchester this week.

Research into sustainability and net-zero is a strategic priority for the University with its research playing an important role in innovation and policy change. Minister Rebecca Pow was given a tour of the University of Salford’s industry leading IGNITION Nature Based Solution (NBS) Living Lab that explores green infrastructure retrofit systems in cities that can play an important part in the fight against the climate crisis. Also in attendance at the visit were representatives from the Environment Agency and Mayor of Salford Paul Dennett.

Minster Pow said: “Adapting our buildings to the effects of climate change will be crucial. I was delighted to see the work underway at Salford University at the Ignition Living Lab. The work on green roofs and green walls is already proving that features like this are not just attractive but also help bring nature into the heart of urban areas and improve energy efficiency.

"They will also be useful in retrofitting public buildings such as schools and council buildings. Nature-based solutions will be key to help mitigate the impacts of climate change. A huge well done to all those working on the project!”

The project is a £4.6 million EU funded initiative bringing together 12 leading organisations including Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), Environment Agency (EA), Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and others. Working in collaboration, IGNITION partners are building viable business models for NBS adoption on a wider scale in Greater Manchester and the North West. In its first year of operation, the Living Lab has attracted vast attention and funding from businesses, the construction sector and research bodies.

Hisham Elkadi, Director of the Living Lab at the University added: “We were delighted to take Minister Pow on a tour of our IGNITION Living Lab facility. It is always a welcome opportunity to showcase our work to senior politicians allowing them to see first-hand the ground-breaking work we are undertaking in collaboration with partners to help tackle the climate challenges that we face.

"Our Living Lab acts as a testing ground for new innovative solutions to uplift existing urban environments through enhancing the resilience of our buildings and spaces to climate emergency. The Living Lab is a true ‘seeing is believing’ exemplar that attracts investment, community interest and research innovation by exhibiting how efficient and beneficial connected retrofit Green Infrastructure (GI) systems can be.”

Find out more about the IGNITION Living Lab

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