500 green jobs on cards

Date published: 10 February 2009

OLDHAM’S green credentials could be boosted by hundreds of new jobs.

Council leaders have revealed that a European “green technology” company is looking at the possibility of relocating up to 500 jobs to the borough.

They were tight-lipped about the details, but disclosed the news as they outlined Oldham’s work to cut emissions and tackle climate change.

Part of this involves creating “green collar jobs”: from people who are trained to install energy efficient technology such as solar panels and air pollution control to those carrying out development and research.

Councillor Mark Alcock, cabinet member for environment, said: “The council recognises the huge challenge facing us with regard to climate change.

“Our aim is to create a low-carbon economy that will provide new jobs and support small businesses while meeting our obligations on national targets.”

Oldham aims to cut C02 emissions by 12 per cent between 2005 and 2011 and was one of the first local authorities in the country, and the first in Greater Manchester, to have a renewable energy policy. The policy means that all new, major developments must get at least 10 per cent of their energy from renewable resources such as wind turbines. So far 100 schemes have been affected, both residential and commercial.

Oldham Life Long Library and Learning Centre has a green roof, which recycles rain water to be used in the building, and 18 environmentally-friendly homes were built in Coppice in 2006.

Other initiatives highlighted included the new £5 million health and well-being centre in Chadderton which will use bio diesel; the new Failsworth and Radclyffe schools which use alternative fuel for heating; £2.6 million of energy efficiency improvements to 2,452 homes though the Government’s Warn Front programme; and 55 schools achieving eco status.

Councillor Alcock said: “People are being greener. They are looking for new technology that will save them money. We want Oldham to be the greenest council in the country, not just Greater Manchester. There are a lot of things that Oldham is already doing, that people are coming to see. We are going in the right direction.”