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Regions 4 Green Growth Peer Review team in action

Euro-scoresheet for the city’s low carbon work plan

A series of European partner cities and regions have been in Greater Manchester this week (1-5 July) carrying out a peer review of the city region’s plans for investment, skills and jobs in the low carbon and energy sectors as part of the INTERREG IVc programme ‘Regions 4 Green Growth’.

Delegates from Romania (Maramures), Holland (Noord Brabant), Italy (Lazio), Spain (Valencia) and from the Assembly of European Regions’ secretariat toured a number of Greater Manchester signature projects including building retrofit projects in Oldham and at Manchester’s Town Hall and Library, plus the new development at The Co-operative Group’s NoMA. They also had presentations from a range of Greater Manchester initiatives covering housing, the Green Deal, transport and city infrastructure.



The brief for the peer review team was to examine Greater Manchester’s projects and plans, compare them to work across the rest of Europe, and feedback with opportunities to improve our performance and to increase job and growth opportunities, through pursuing a low carbon agenda.

The group also considered some of the best examples of green initiatives from around Europe and looked at the lessons they have learned in developing their proposals and how they can help shape our future planning when funding future green-investment.

Greater Manchester asked the peer review team to ask some specific questions, too. They asked the team to consider the city region’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of:

  • Our organisational and governance structures and processes if we are to maximise opportunities for energy investment; and
  • Our proposed support structures for the development of the Low Carbon & Environment Goods and Services sector deliver social benefit from energy investment.

They also asked:

  • How can we improve procurement of energy investment opportunities to maximise local economic and social benefit?
  • What lessons can be learnt from best practice in Europe and international cities?Are there any organisations and professions with whom we need to be more fully engaged?

The peer review team found a number of strengths to celebrate, including strong political leadership, ambitious targets, long-range vision and good levels of public/private collaboration. They were also impressed about the range of potential projects, the diverse range of funding vehicles being pursued and the efforts to attach the city region’s low carbon programme to it’s national and international ‘brand’.

Areas for improvement (detailed in the downloadable presentation below) included complexity of structures, no central information point for all the project information and weak levels of involvement of both small businesses, and the citizens of Greater Manchester more widely.

Councillor Neil Swannick, Chair of Greater Manchester Energy Group which includes business and university experts, welcomed the peer review: "this visit is part of a European Union funded project to exchange ideas and technical support. Greater Manchester is now on the map when it comes to sustainable development, and ready to take a lead in promoting green growth to help hard-pressed residents and businesses."


Main image: The European Peer Review team in action during their Greater Manchester review.