Pioneering retrofitting partnership will boost region’s low carbon ambitions
Up to 1,000 Greater Manchester homes will benefit from low carbon retrofitting trials following a deal between the combined authority and Japanese manufacturer, Daikin.
The landmark partnership is the first of its kind between a UK city region and a Japanese firm, and will see Greater Manchester become a test-bed for new net zero technologies and services, with the aim of boosting investment and job creation in the city region.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Friday, February 3, by Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham and chairman of the board of Daikin Europe N.V. and senior executive officer of Daikin Industries, Masatsugu Minaka.
Over the next two years, between 800 and 1,000 homes across Greater Manchester will benefit from trials of retrofitting measures and low carbon heating technologies, including air-source heat pumps.
The new partnership is the result of seven years of collaboration between Greater Manchester and Daikin which has seen several hundred air-source heat pumps already installed in social housing developments across Wigan, Bury, and North Manchester – the largest such project in Europe.
Andy Burnham said: “This landmark partnership between Greater Manchester and Daikin builds on years of collaboration and friendship between our city region and Japan.
“It’s a vote of confidence in our ambitious, science-based plans to become carbon neutral by 2038, and shows how we’re using our international outreach to make a positive difference to people right here in Greater Manchester.”
He added: “We want to connect the dots between decarbonising our homes and buildings, fostering net zero innovation, and developing skills in the green industries of the future. As part of our Trailblazer negotiations with the Government we are making the case for more devolved control in these areas, and for the role that city regions have to play in addressing shared global challenges.
“This partnership with Daikin will provide a strong foundation for more opportunities to bring those green jobs, skills, and investment to Greater Manchester.”
Masatsugu Minaka said: “This pioneering partnership between Daikin and GMCA will see Greater Manchester take significant steps towards its goal to become carbon neutral by 2038. We believe this relationship is a best practice approach to meeting decarbonisation targets in social housing.
“We are committed to making a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of Greater Manchester and will continue to engage in public-private partnerships in the future, as well as bringing innovative environmental technologies to market in the UK and across Europe.”
The signing of the new agreement took place following a visit to the Green Skills Academy in Trafford Park.
The newly opened facility will offer comprehensive training in a range of low carbon technologies and skills, and will play a crucial role in Greater Manchester’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2038.
In October 2022, a delegation from Greater Manchester, including representatives from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester Metropolitan University, SSE, and MIDAS, visited Osaka to meet with Daikin and other partners, and discuss opportunities for collaboration.
This was followed by a return delegation from Japan, facilitated by MIDAS and the Greater Manchester-Japan Steering Group, featuring members of the Osaka City Council, Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Hitachi Zosen, Hitachi Zosen Inova, and Daikin Europe N.V.
Developing UK-Japan relations has been a priority in recent years, and in 2021 the Greater Manchester-Japan Steering Group was formed to explore how the city region can increase trade, investment, and research opportunities. The group brings together a diverse network of stakeholders from business, academia, and the private and public sectors.