The Greater Manchester Retrofit Task Force was established in July 2021 to help tackle Greater Manchester’s urgent retrofitting challenge. The Task Force brings together partners to set out a detailed plan for Greater Manchester to take a global lead on retrofitting.

The retrofitGM: Accelerating the Renovation of Greater Manchester’s Buildings report is their first detailed action plan covering the next three years:

retrofitGM: Accelerating the Renovation of Greater Manchester's Buildings (Adobe e-book)

retrofitGM: Accelerating the Renovation of Greater Manchester’s Buildings (PDF, 15.9MB)

Reducing the carbon emissions resulting from how we heat our buildings is a key priority for all of us and intrinsic to delivering our target of carbon neutrality by 2038.

The retrofitGM action plan builds on the work we have being doing as the leading green-city region. This year alone we’ve investing £27m into our Green Homes Grant for residents to renovate fuel-poor homes bringing more people out of fuel poverty thanks to better insulated homes with modern, environmentally friendly heating systems that are lower carbon. We are also investing £78m in renovation and low carbon energy generation for over 150 public buildings this year.

A new Retrofit Skills Hub has also been established, offering courses to 1,140 people to upskill into green jobs and training to get more people working on renovation projects. We are also introducing policies that will ensure all new homes will be net zero carbon by 2028.

Whilst this is a great start, there are over 880,000 homes, 2,700 public buildings and as yet unknown number of commercial buildings that will need some form of renovation by 2038. To reach these sorts of numbers, we will need to employ innovative finance solutions to significantly scale up our activities, building the skills and jobs needed to grow the supply chain in the process.

By taking the right action to tackle the climate crisis, we can address the housing crisis and create good quality skilled jobs by training people in skills in jobs for life in green industries, and deliver better, more energy-efficient homes that are cheaper to run. A greener economy in Greater Manchester will create and secure over 256,000 jobs across all sectors in the city-region by 2038 with 90,000 in retrofit alone.

Residents can benefit through fuel bills reducing by as much as £600 a year. Not only does this save money but reduces the risk of people needing health and social care due to the health risks posed from cold, poorly insulated homes. If you run a business, investment today will mean you have more revenue tomorrow.

Our children and wider families will benefit from over 1,000 new apprenticeships on offer in Greater Manchester linked to net zero; we’ll also be upskilling 85,000 people currently in existing construction jobs, so they have job security and relevant skills. Our local public services will save money on the expensive energy bills that currently come from heating our hospitals, council buildings, care services and offices; that’s savings that can be invested into our local public services.

By working together and doing things differently we can help address climate change, improve living standards and `level up’ by embracing the new green industrial revolution.