A retail park on the edge of Bolton town centre is set to be rejuvenated to help position Greater Manchester as a centre of green innovation.
Greenworks is a Bolton at Home project delivered in partnership with Bolton charity Urban Outreach. It is the new name for a site transformation at Trinity Retail Park, based off the A666 (St Peter’s Way).
The social housing provider acquired retail units and land at the retail park in December, to turn into a community focused green technology and skills hub.
The aim is to help achieve a sustainable net-zero carbon future and support people into jobs in the construction and energy sectors.
Urban Outreach also invested in the site last year to secure its humanitarian food storage facility located there, and its food distribution service.
The charity also wants to use the space for food growing to help reduce the level of food poverty locally, hydroponics and food recycling.
Plans to start transforming the existing retail units at the site are being progressed.
They include developing a training centre for people to learn the latest skills in green technologies, which will become commonplace in retrofitting and the building of homes and commercial properties.
The plans will also explore building a modular training house to help people develop their trades in a real environment.
A range of office, meeting and networking spaces are planned to support companies and start-up businesses that specialise in the low-carbon industry.
Greenworks will operate as a not-for-profit enterprise, and any surplus generated from the commercial rents will be reinvested back into local community projects such as helping people back into employment.
The first phase of development will take place later this year. It includes initial works to convert the space into a training facility and install three new training rigs to deliver technical training.
External funding is being sought to further accelerate the transformation of the site into a full centre of excellence with sustainable green technologies.
Noel Sharpe, deputy group chief executive Officer at Bolton at Home and chair of the Bolton Vision Partnership’s Economic Prosperity Group, said: “We need to make changes now if we’re to cut carbon emissions and hit the government’s target of net zero by 2050.
“For the housing sector, this means retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient and implementing new ways of working to reduce emissions and create sustainable energy.
“We want to move quickly, with a space where people can learn how to install and maintain these technologies, so that more tenants and residents across the region can benefit from environmentally friendly homes in the near future.
“Over the next few weeks, we’re asking over a thousand businesses what they need to move towards a greener future, which will also help us understand how Greenworks could help them.”
Bolton at Home is a member of the Bolton Vision partnership. This is a group of organisations and businesses from a range of sectors working together to improve life in Bolton.
The partnership is reaching out to all businesses in Bolton with a survey to discover the support they need to become more environmentally sustainable.
Similarly, the team behind the Greenworks project is contacting green technology businesses across Greater Manchester with a survey to learn how they could benefit from the site’s future facilities.
Image: Neil Mitchell/Shutterstock
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