Ignition is a ground-breaking project that aims to develop innovative financing solutions for investment in Greater Manchester’s natural environment. This investment will help to build the city region’s ability to adapt to the increasingly extreme impacts of climate change.

Working with nature, solutions such as rain gardens, street trees, green roofs and walls and development of green spaces can help tackle socio-environmental challenges including increases in flooding events, water security, air quality, biodiversity and human health and wellbeing.

This project, backed by €4.5 million from the EU’s Urban Innovation Actions initiative, brings together 12 partners from local government, universities, NGOs and business. The aim is to develop the first model of its kind that enables major investment in large-scale environmental projects which can increase climate resilience. By 2038 this will enable an increase in Greater Manchester’s urban green infrastructure coverage by 10% from a 2018 baseline.

Project milestones

  • October 2019: Version 1 of the city Scale Nature Based Solution project pipeline process will be complete with phase 1 of deliverable set of projects identified
  • April 2020 – establish funding models and finance mechanism to deliver phase 1 of the Greater Manchester NBS pipeline
  • April to October 2021 – Greater Manchester governance and delivery frameworks set up with delivery vehicle for phase 1 of pipeline procured and contracts for funding and delivery signed.
  • October 2021 – Nature Based Innovation centre on the University of Salford Campus reaches final installation and maturation in it’s role as a visible demonstrator living test lab of the urban green infrastructure to combat climate change.



City of Trees 

Environment Agency 


Groundwork MSSTT 

Manchester City Council 

Royal Horticultural Society

Salford City Council 


United Utilities 

University of Manchester

University of Salford 

Get involved

Email: LCH@greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk


What is Blue-Green infrastructure?

Blue-Green infrastructure describes the networks of natural and semi-natural features in urban spaces. They can include street trees, green rooves, rain gardens, private gardens, parks, woodlands, rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and wetlands

What are nature based solutions or natural climate solutions?

NBS are adaptive measures which include using soil and landscape features and ecosystem services to reduce the effects of climate change and other environmental problems

What is urban green infrastructure?

The project will be defining urban green infrastructure early on. But in very broad terms it includes parks, green spaces, trees, hedges, green building fixtures, rain gardens etc

What are the benefits of urban green infrastructure?

Urban GI can have many social, economic and environmental benefits including (subject to the type of GI) increasing climate change adaptation, remediation of air pollutants, benefits to health and wellbeing and increased physical activity, noise reduction, improved building performance (energy), water attenuation and carbon sequestration.

How will the project measure 10% increase in urban green infrastructure?

An early priority for the Project is to establish a measure for this.

What are SuDS?

SuDS are Sustainable Drainage Solutions; a range of water management structures that link modern drainage processes with the natural water cycle. They take into account flood management, water quality, biodiversity and community use. They typically mimic nature and manage rainfall close to where it falls. They include: rain gardens, swales, permeable paving, wetlands and green roofs.