New Economy highlights low carbon opportunities

THE low carbon and environmental goods (LCEGS)sector in Greater Manchester is worth a £5.4bn to the city region’s economy and is set to grow at a steady rate of 4% a year over the next few years.

Analysis from New Economy Manchester says the sector, which is the third biggest outside London and the South East, sustains around 2,000 businesses employing 37,000 people. Low carbon is on its own is worth £2.9bn, while renewable energy is worth £1.5bn, while the environmental sub-sector contributes £981m a year.
New Economy, which steers the course of the city region, says LCEGS grew 4% last year and will continue to be an important growth area for Greater Manchester.

Baron Frankal, director of economic strategy at New Economy, said: “The low carbon sector is touted by all cities as a strong arrow in their quiver. Data within this month’s Manchester Monitor does seem to show that it is something of a strength in our region.  

“The sector’s growth rate in Greater Manchester has outperformed the UK economy throughout the recent recession and is forecast to continue to grow by more than 4% per year over the next few years.      

“This news is a particular boost for our manufacturing and engineering businesses and suggests that there is real scope for businesses to diversify into low carbon and environmental goods services.”

The other highlights of the May Manchester Monitor include: a 1.8% fall in the number of people receiving Jobseekers’ Allowance to 82,400; a pick-up in  office rental values; continued strong performance from Manchester Airport; steady hotel occupancy and a fall in the volume of crime.
Mr Frankal said in the light of last week’s Spending Review, he remains wary of further challenges: “Across the board, trends suggest that we may have a glimpse of some sort of economic recovery.

“However, we’re certainly not out of the woods yet and many factors have still to come fully into force.  Not least are the implications of last week’s spending review, which will test all energies to drive Greater Manchester’s economy in the right direction over the next decade.”